CV NEWS FEED // Major League Baseball (MLB) Commissioner Rob Manfred expressed support for the Los Angeles Dodgers’ decision to give a “Community Hero Award” to an anti-Catholic hate group.
The Dodgers honored the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence (SPI) in a mostly-empty stadium while thousands took part in a prayer vigil and peaceful protest outside. SPI is a “drag” troupe of men who lewdly and graphically mock many elements of the Catholic faith.
Manfred has served in his current position for over eight years. He is responsible for the MLB as well as all its affiliated minor league teams. A self-professed Catholic, Manfred served on the board of the School of the Holy Child, an all-girls Catholic college-preparatory middle and high school in the New York City suburb of Rye.
In an interview published Wednesday, Time magazine asked Manfred if he had wanted the Dodgers to reconsider their invitation of SPI. The commissioner gave a rambling, indirect response to the question, saying, “We obviously talk to the clubs all the time.”
“Our view on local promotions is one that we have refined over time,” he said:
Our 30 markets are very, very different. The people on the ground in those markets are best positioned to decide what’s appropriate for their fan base, and what’s not appropriate for their fan base.
“The Dodgers are a well run organization,” he said, adding that he trusts “their judgment as to what’s appropriate for their market.”
Manfred never explained why he believed the invitation of SPI was “appropriate” for the Los Angeles market, instead saying that as far as “appropriateness” goes, “there’s no right or wrong answer that applies across the 30 clubs.”
Time then asked Manfred to clarify if he supported the Dodgers’ decision. To this, he replied,
Yeah. Because our policy is to allow those decisions to be made locally. And that’s what happened here.
This response was consistent with Manfred’s comments in the days leading up to the Dodgers’ “Pride Night.” He told The Washington Post that celebrating “Pride” – either by events or rainbow uniforms – should be a “local decision” that is left up to each individual team.
This is not the first time that Manfred has caused controversy by wading into a political issue. In April 2021, he moved MLB’s All-Star Game from Atlanta to Denver after the state of Georgia passed a voter ID requirement stridently opposed by Democrats.