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Marco Rubio Says Dodgers Refused to Air His Ad During Pride Night

Marco Rubio Says Dodgers Refused to Air His Ad During Pride Night


Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida is lashing out against a decision to block the airing of his ad during the Los Angeles Dodgers’ LGBTQ+ Pride Night event, arguing that the team is in league with an “anti-Christian hate group.”

Last month, the Dodgers entered the LGBTQ+ culture war and enraged some conservatives after announcing that the team’s annual Pride Night game would honor the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a decades-old charity that raises funds through drag performances that often satirize Catholicism.

Backlash from conservatives and Catholic groups initially prompted the Dodgers to rescind the invitation. However, criticism over banning the charity led the team to quickly reverse course, re-inviting the drag group and issuing a public apology to “members of the LGBTQ+ community.” The event is now scheduled to take place as originally planned on Friday night.

Rubio lamented that Spectrum SportsNet LA “refused to broadcast our ad criticizing [the] team’s decision to honor an anti-Christian hate group” in a tweet on Friday, while sharing an article on the decision published the same day by Outkick, a sports news outlet founded by right-wing radio host Clay Travis.

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GOP Senator Marco Rubio of Florida speaks in Washington, D.C., on March 9, 2023, at a hearing on worldwide threats. Rubio denounced the decision to block the airing of his ad during the Los Angeles Dodgers’ LGBTQ+ Pride Night event on Friday.
Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty

The ad, which was created with the aid of Rubio’s Reclaim America PAC, was to have featured the senator telling viewers that “the Dodgers aren’t celebrating pride, they are promoting bigotry,” according to the Outkick article, which argues that “the criticisms presented in the ad” are “of course, correct.”

The Dodgers are set to honor the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence with the team’s 2023 Community Hero Award. The team’s apology statement last month praised the group “for the lifesaving work that they have done tirelessly for decades.”

In comments to Fox News, Rubio said that “the Dodgers are honoring an anti-Catholic hate group as community heroes, but they’re afraid of airing an ad showing these so-called sisters out in the community.”

“It tells you everything you need to know about the Dodgers, Major League Baseball and the media,” he added. “They are no longer demanding tolerance, they now promote intolerance and even hatred of Christianity.”

Spectrum SportsNet has not publicly disclosed why Rubio’s ad was rejected and it is unclear what role the Dodgers may have played in the decision.

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Newsweek has reached out to Spectrum SportsNet online for comment.

Critics of the decision to honor the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence also include a number of Catholic groups, such as the conservative CatholicVote and the Catholic League.

An opinion article co-authored by Rubio and CatholicVote President Brian Burch accuses the Dodgers of tainting “baseball’s legacy of patriotism, faith, and family with a group that exists to defile religious values.” Rubio complained in a tweet that the Los Angeles Times had “refused to even consider publishing” the article, which was published by the conservative outlet The Federalist instead.

Others have hailed the decision. Sister Jeannine Gramick, a pro-LGBTQ+ Catholic nun, who wrote in a letter to the Dodgers that she was “uncomfortable with the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence using the nuns’ old garb to draw attention to bigotry” but “choice of clothing, even if offensive to some, can never trump the works of mercy.”

“I support them because of all their good works,” wrote Gramick. “I believe that any group that serves the community, especially those who are less fortunate or on the margins of society, should be honored.”

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Published: 2023-06-17 00:52:11

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