Come this June, the Oakland A's will host their first LGBTQ Pride Night, and pitcher Sean Doolittle and his girlfriend Eireann Dolan are offering to buy up tickets from fans who don't want to attend. Already, a GoFundMe campaign has raised more than $17,000, not including the couple's plans to match donations up to $3,000 as well as Doolittle's plan to match any tickets that Dolan herself buys.
As A's Media Relations Coordinator Zak Basch explains it to Athletics Nation, not only does it mimic similar celebratory nights (like Italian Pride, Mexican Pride, and Faith & Family Day) that fans adore, but it also helps honor the first MLB player to ever come out, former A's and Dodgers outfielder Glenn Burke, whose family will throw the honorary first pitch.
There's been a bit of backlash toward the event. While the negativity has been few and far between, it was enough to inspire Dolan to launch perhaps the sweetest campaign imaginable to combat all the hate. In a post on her blog, Thank You Based Ball, Dolan offers to purchase tickets without judgment, "No questions asked." After she buys the tickets, she says:
From there, I will donate any tickets I purchase to the Bay Area Youth Center’s Our Space community for LGBTQ youth. That way you don’t have to feel uncomfortable, and the seats don’t go to waste. It’s win-win.
In the hilarious post, Dolan also wrote about her two moms, both avid A's fans, who fully support her and Doolittle's plans. Says Dolan:
Many people don’t know this about me, but I have two moms. My biological mom Kathy and her partner Elise (who grew up in the Bay Area) are both die-hard A’s fans as well as super gay. Like, they’re so gay for each other that they’ve fostered a long-term loving relationship likely no different from any heterosexual loving relationships you’ve seen or been a part of.
Dolan explains how the A's Pride Night is basically made for her moms, as they are A's fans who happen to be living in San Diego — and the A's will be playing the San Diego Padres that night. She writes that she was saddened by the replies to the night of inclusion and that's what inspired this idea. She signs the end of her post "Love Eireann and my hella gay moms."
Fans who plan on attending the game will get to see the A's take on the San Diego Padres on June 17. Both AIDS Project East Bay and Frameline will receive funds from the game's proceeds, and those who buy pride tickets will receive pride wristbands. Pride Night seats are in the prime field level location of sections 129 and 130. Though this is the A's first Pride Night, there have been well over a dozen similar events that have occurred throughout the MLB. They've all been incredibly successful. With Dolan and Doolittle's spirit and generosity, this game promises to be truly great.
Images: Eireann Dolan/Instagram (1); Getty Images (1)