Did the Atlanta Braves Have a Night Celebrating a Gay Group?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about baseball and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the baseball urban legends featured so far.

BASEBALL URBAN LEGEND: The Atlanta Braves had a night celebrating a gay group.

In August of 2001, before a game against the Houston Astros, the Atlanta Braves celebrated The Atlanta Games Inc. Night. The Atlanta Games Inc. was a group designed to attempt to draw the Gay Games to Atlanta for the 2006 Gay Games (which did not work, as Chicago got the Games that year).

The Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus sang the national anthem.

And, as you might imagine, certain groups of people were quite distraught at this turn of events.

However, while it is true that the Braves DID have The Atlanta Games Inc. Night, those apoplectic fans failed to realize that it was simply a matter of the Atlanta Games Inc. taking advantage of a Braves’ promotional offer.

If you purchased over 300 tickets to a Braves game, you automatically got the right to have a “night” dedicated to your organization, whatever it is (I presume the Braves have some discretion, though, to preclude say, a Skinhead organization buying 300 tickets), and AGI bought a lot more tickets than that.

Part of the deal is that you also get to provide singers for the national anthem, if you so choose.

As the Braves said at the time to complaints, the night before was Lutheran Brotherhood Night, so it clearly was just a “whoever buys the tickets gets a night” deal.

However, the Braves did make news five years later when they began doing a series of promotions called “Faith Night.” These nights, celebrating various religions, at first included James Dobson’s Focus on the Family Christian group, which is more than a little bit anti-gay.

After complaints from gay groups, the Braves banned Focus on the Family from future “Faith Night” promotions.

The legend is…

STATUS: True

Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future urban legends columns! My e-mail address is [email protected]

One Response to “Did the Atlanta Braves Have a Night Celebrating a Gay Group?”

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