Many were felt a sense of relief when the New York Yankees announced that they were to celebrate their first LGBTI Pride event in 2019.
One of the last major league baseball teams to still yet to have their own Pride event, many felt it was about time.
But the choice of year carries extra gravitas for the New York team: 2019 will be the 50-year anniversary of the iconic Stonewall Riots.
Given the gravitas of the occasion, the team have begun announcing events and programs which will mark the anniversary, the first of which is a new scholarship program.
Scholarships for contributing to the LGBTI community
The Yankees-Stonewall Scholars Initiative will honor graduating school students who have made impactful contributions to LGBTI equality.
‘Through this initiative, we are proud to recognize the profound historical impact of Stonewall and celebrate the many meaningful contributions of the LGBTQ community,’ Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner said in a statement.
The program will see five $10,000 scholarships distributed among students from each of the five New York City boroughs and will take place from 17-26 June next year, according to USA Today.
‘The Yankees wholeheartedly support equality for all individuals and applaud any efforts which make our society more inclusive and tolerant,’ Steinbrenner added.
‘It is our hope that this scholarship program will serve as a springboard for young LGBTQ student community members and advocates as they continue the pursuit of their dreams, ambitions, and livelihoods.’
The Stonewall Riots are a landmark moment for LGBTI rights.
In 1969, following a police raid on the Stonewall Inn, a popular gay-hangout, members of the LGBTI community began protesting against the prejudice and discrimination they had suffered for years.
The demonstrations spread throughout New York’s Greenwich Village, soon becoming fully fledged riots.
The Stonewall riots, as they soon became known, are considered by many as the event which sparked the modern-day LGBTI rights movement.
The Yankees have said that more LGBTI-themed initiatives, celebrations, and commemorations are planned, and will be announced at later dates.