The Los Angeles Dodgers’ 2023 season has been one of the strangest ones that Tinsel Town has ever seen. Between a front office that has struggled to explain the team’s social stances and a team that has been playing well below its potential, both manager Dave Roberts and team president Andrew Friedman have been left searching for answers.
The Dodgers are by no means out of the race, sitting in third place in the NL West. They entered play on Wednesday with a 40-33 record, 3.5 games behind the Arizona Diamondbacks. In between Los Angeles and The Snakes stand the second-place Giants, with the Dodgers currently one game behind their rival. In their last 10 games, the Boys in Blue have gone an underwhelming 4-6 and are currently marred by mediocre momentum and morale.
So, there’s still a strong possibility that Roberts leads the squad to another playoff berth, and the year is certainly not a lost cause. There’s also no reason to believe that the players suddenly forgot how to hit, catch, and throw, just because of the storm that swirled around the organization recently.
Still, it’s not a stretch to wonder if all the off-the-field distractions haven’t affected the club’s psyche. The media scrutiny surrounding the team has been at a fever pitch surrounding their inclusion of the LGBTQ group, The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, at last week’s Pride Night event. The organization, often labeled an anti-Catholic hate group, was even awarded during the team’s recognition of the LGBTQ community.
Breaking: This is the moment the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence were honored at Dodgers Stadium tonight. Empty stands and boos for “Sister Chlamydia” and Company. Seems the @CatholicLeague ‘s boycott had an impact. pic.twitter.com/pMNQU7fpVz
— The World Over Live with Raymond Arroyo (@WorldOverLive) June 17, 2023
The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence were initially asked not to attend due to their controversial tactics. The men in the group mockingly dress up like Catholic nuns. Their standard ‘uniform’ includes a nun’s habit and wimple, along with clownish makeup.
The group’s mission statement claims that its goal is to “use drag and religious imagery to satirize issues of sex, gender, and morality.” And while the group doesn’t have a history of violent acts, they are so outlandish that their performance seems almost more important than the cause they claim to represent. To many, they are simply a hate group aimed at defaming the church.
While some initial reports said that Dodger Stadium was “empty“, tickets to the night’s festivities sold as if it were business as usual. Friday’s game even surpassed the team’s average attendance of 47,800 people, according to Forbes.
Dave Roberts doesn’t feel like the team has been cursed by its community efforts. He recently told The Athletic that he stands behind the decision the team made to eventually acknowledge the controversial advocacy group.
“This is an existential question for me,” Roberts said on Friday while wearing a Pride-themed Dodgers hat. “It’s a big, overarching kind of question in the sense that my parents raised me to love everyone. To respect everyone. Treat people the way that you would want to be treated. We’re not always going to agree on everyone’s decisions in life. That’s the way the world works. And that’s okay. I do think that we should still all be able to coexist.
“For me, it just always goes back to loving everyone, and as the manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, a baseball team, I welcome – we welcome anyone that comes through these gates to support our ballclub.”
LOS ANGELES- A huge group of Catholics and Christians have already arrived outside of Dodger Stadium to pray in protest of the Dodgers honoring the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.
A drag group that has repeatedly mocked Christ and the Catholic faith: pic.twitter.com/oHPIeHoCI3
— Savanah Hernandez (@sav_says_) June 16, 2023
However, his team is losing some of that support. Especially from Catholic fans who say they feel like they have been betrayed by the organization. They feel that honoring the Sisters was essentially spitting in the face of everything that they consider Holy. And it wasn’t just in LA. It was those who share the faith and their fandom all over the country.
“We now know what gods the Dodger admin worships,” Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco wrote on Twitter. “Our Catholic sisters devote themselves to serving others selflessly. Decent people would not mock & blaspheme them.”
For now, it looks like the Dodgers can’t win in the court of public opinion. But for the faithful fans that have remained followers, they wouldn’t mind seeing their team at least gain a few more victories on the field.