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Pride Night at Citi Field Out Front 

Pride Night at Citi Field

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Queens, NY – On Saturday, August 13, 2016, Citi Field roared with the energy of thousands of LGBT and allied fans as the New York Mets defeated the San Diego Padres at the very first Pride Night held by any of the four major professional sports leagues in New York! This historic event was the culmination of months of preparation in a major partnership between the LGBT Network and the New York Mets.

1473357417lo_sept2016“Thanks to the hard work and dedication of the New York Mets, Major League Baseball and the LGBT Network, the first Pride Night at Citi Field was a home run,” said David Kilmnick, CEO of the LGBT Network. “The fact that the Mets, in working with the LGBT Network, selected a Saturday night in the middle of the summer for the first ever Pride Night clearly shows the generosity of The Mets. This was not a gimmick to sell tickets. This was something that the Mets organization has truly embraced to be fully inclusive of their LGBT fans.”

The evening began with a special “Pride in the Plaza” celebration, featuring knockout performances by the Lesbian and Gay Big Apple Corps Marching Band, the original Weather Girl Martha Wash, and pianist Sara Buechner. Once inside, in a special pre-game ceremony, the Mets organization presented a check for $12,000 to the LGBT Network to support anti-bullying efforts in Long Island and New York City schools. Elvis Duran of the Elvis Duran and the Morning Show program on Z100 and iHeartRadio then added to the already generous contribution with another $10,000 donation to help strikeout bullying. To close out the presentation and signal the beginning of the game, former major league baseball player Billy Bean, currently the VP for Social Responsibility and Inclusion for Major League Baseball, threw out the ceremonial first pitch.

At the close of the third inning, Army Staff Sgt. Joshua B. Gravett, an out, gay veteran who served two combat tours in Afghanistan and is currently an Army Recruitment Officer, took the field in his Army uniform to be honored for his service. This was the first time an openly LGBT veteran has been honored at a major league sports event.

1473357417lo_sept2016Additionally, numerous stadium elements were amended to promote an inclusive and affirming atmosphere for the duration of the game. The Mets logo and the gigantic Coca Cola sign were aglow in rainbow colors as a show of support. The “Kiss Cam” featured numerous same-sex couples on the jumbotron to thunderous applause from the crowd.

Additionally, numerous stadium elements were amended to promote an inclusive and affirming atmosphere for the duration of the game. The Mets logo and the gigantic Coca Cola sign were aglow in rainbow colors as a show of support. The “Kiss Cam” featured numerous same-sex couples on the jumbotron to thunderous applause from the crowd.

“Nights like this go a long way to bringing more people together,” said Kilmnick. “It sends a message to our young kids that they can
grow up and be a pro-athlete and not have to hide who they are.

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