LGBT activists are calling for the St. Louis Cardinals to cancel a speech by the team’s former player, Lance Berkman, over his stance on transgender bathrooms.
Every summer, the Cardinals host Christian Day at the ballpark, and this year, they’ve invited Berkman to speak about his faith. The baseball team will also host an annual LGBT Pride Night this year.
Outsports, an LGBT sports news website owned by Vox, called Berkman an “avowed, outspoken homophobe” and compared him to someone who “proactively fought against the civil rights of black people or women.”
“The Cardinals should cancel Berkman’s appearance at their ‘Christian Day,’” Outsports co-founder Cyd Zeigler wrote. “Nothing short of that—including finding ways for LGBT people to overspend on Cardinals tickets, hot dogs and cocktails—will be good enough.”
Berkman has opposed allowing transgender people to use the bathroom that corresponds with their professed gender. Speaking in 2015 about Houston’s proposed equal-rights ordinance, the father of four girls said he did not want “troubled men to enter women’s bathrooms, showers and locker rooms.”
So far, the Cardinals are standing by Berkman.
“As an organization, the Cardinals have always been committed to bringing like-minded groups together to share in the unifying experience of Cardinals baseball,” the team said in a statement last week. “We are an inclusive organization with a social responsibility to be welcoming to all types of people and organizations.”
— Jillian Kay Melchior writes for Heat Street and is a fellow for the Steamboat Institute and the Independent Women’s Forum.