For the first time in Mets history, the team will host an official LGBT-themed Pride Night. It's also the first time a major sports franchise in New York has held an event of its type.
NY Post reports the #Mets will host a "Pride Night" this season, becoming the first NY major sports team to do so for the LGBT community.— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) February 19, 2016
According to the Mets website, after the game against the Padres a free concert with the deadliner yet to be announced is also scheduled. The site also explains that a portion of each ticket sold for the event will benefit the LGBT Network, which is a non-profit that aims to stop bullying. It will also promote the Safe Schools Initiative in Long Island and Queens.
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Here's what LGBT Network CEO David Kilmnick had to say about the event in a release:
"We are very grateful to Major League Baseball for taking the lead in professional sports by including the LGBT community in its diverse priorities and initiatives. As a life-long fan, I am very proud that the New York Mets are making sure that everyone is welcomed and celebrated at Citi Field and that their organization is setting such a powerful example of inclusion, and a message of acceptance for anyone who loves the game of baseball.
The New York metro area is home to an estimated two million LGBT residents and families who have long felt left out and not safe in major league ballparks and sports arenas. Bullying is still a major league problem for LGBT youth with over 82% reporting being verbally and physically harassed in the past year, according to LGBT Network."
Kilmnick expects more than 5,000 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender fans at the Pride Night, via Page Six.
MLB.com reports the Mets will announce the news officially at a press conference on Tuesday with Billy Bean (MLB's VP of Social Responsibility and inclusion), Kilmnick, U.S. Congressman Steve Israel as well as Mr. and Mrs. Met.
We (LGBT Network) are hosting a major press conference on Tuesday February 23rd at 11am at Queens Borough Hall... https://t.co/QxyD1tg4FY— David Kilmnick (@DavidKilmnick) February 19, 2016
"The Mets have a lot of fans in the LGBT community … and there's a lot of fans who worship these guys," said Bean, an openly gay former MLB player. "My message is the same: that everybody deserves a fair chance to be the best they can be."
Around this time last year, former Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy said he disagrees with Bean's gay lifestyle. Murphy signed with the Nationals over the offseason. For the Mets, Pride Night is a huge step in the right direction and follows the example set by the Oakland A's and other MLB teams last season.
Tickets for (and more information about) the Aug. 13 game are available here.
Bryan Kalbrosky produces digital content for FOXSports.com. For more, follow him on Twitter @BryanKalbrosky