Updated 05:35 AM EST, Mon, Nov 29, 2021

LGBT Group Asks MLB to Quit Forcing Rookies to Cross Dress

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An LGBT group slammed the tradition of MLB teams requiring their rookies to crossdress as part of their hazing rites noting that this sends a bad message to young individuals.

According to a TMZ report, Athlete Ally, a group promoting LGBT acceptance in sports, criticized teams for dressing up their rookies as women and parading them around.

It added that these teams includes the Oakland Athletics, Miami Marlins and Chicago Cubs, which has been doing the tradition for years.

The group's head, Hudson Taylor, told TMZ that this cross-dressing ritual was designed to embarrass players and sends a message that men wearing women's clothes should be made fun of.

"Requiring rookies to dress in feminine presenting clothing like wigs, dresses, and bikinis sends a strong and dangerous message that being a girl, woman, or feminine is somehow less than, and something to be mocked," Taylor added.

He also claimed that practices like this are testaments that people still continue to discriminate the LGBT community.

"Regardless of intent, as long as professional athletes participate in hazing of this kind, they will be continuing to perpetuate a culture that isolates, excludes, and marginalizes the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and female athletes," explained the Athlete Ally head.

Taylor said the group has some well-known athletes as its members like Megan Rapinoe, Abby Wambach, Andy Roddick, Kenneth Faried, Martina Navratilova, Donte Stallworth, James Blake and Sydney Leroux.

Yahoo Sports added that these rituals sometimes include rookies and even second-year players dressing up depending on themes.

"The Los Angeles Dodgers, for example, had their young players dressed up as legendary professional wrestlers," added the same report.

For this year, some teams reportedly dressed their first-year players in women's clothes and even required them to travel to the adjacent city wearing the same.

In July last year, Athlete Ally became an official partner of the MLB with the group's mission being "to eliminate homophobia and transphobia in sports and champion LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) equality," as per MLB.com.

"We're in a time that people are realizing the LGBT community is part of the athletic community. For a period of time we didn't talk about it, we didn't address it. It really went unmentioned and undiscussed," added Taylor.

He also noted that the league passing on a non-discrimination policy was a great game changer.

"The fact that athletes are coming out, the fact that allies are speaking out and the league has passed a non-discrimination policy ... sport is on the front lines of social change, and I think we're seeing that intersect in a really fascinating way," he added.

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