People of all ages, races, genders, orientations, political affiliations, religious backgrounds, incomes, shapes and sizes unite as one and enjoy a game at the ballpark together. There is nothing quite as American as having tens of thousands of people joining together to cheer on their beloved Kansas City Royals.
Nothing but you, the game of baseball, and a sea of Royal blue.
In 2016, the Kansas City Royals quietly brought on the Vitae Foundation as an affiliate and sponsor of the Royals. For those of you unfamiliar with the work of the Vitae Foundation, you can do a quick google search about them and their goals. Mainly, the Vitae Foundation describes themselves as:
“A non-profit, educational organization focused on creating a Culture of Life by using research-based messaging and cutting edge media to inform women facing an untimely pregnancy about local Pregnancy Help Centers; educating the public about the value and sanctity of human life; and restoring the value of life as a core belief in the American culture.”
Just what a professional sports organization should be doing: taking a stance on a polarizing issue primarily based around women’s rights that divides the fanbase. I am not going to talk about what my personal opinions are on pro-life or pro-choice matters. I am simply here to say it is absolutely absurd of the Royals to slather a political and religiously charged message to stadiums full of people each night.
Now that this sponsorship by the Royals has caught the attention of opposing groups, the game of baseball will be placed on the back burner for a politically charged agenda. Would there be as much outrage if the Royals let Planned Parenthood take out an ad on Crown Vision? Of course. Promoting either side of the pro-life/pro-choice argument means alienating the other side’s fans entirely, so why do it?
The Royals can’t be hurting that badly for money that they need to have a non-profit like the Vitae Foundation sponsor the team. The owners can’t be ignorant enough to think plastering a message about an incredibly sensitive issue like women’s rights was going to go over well with everyone. The Royals can’t really think that mixing a political agenda with a baseball game is the best way to go… right?
As a female sports fan, almost everything is marketed towards the male fan. Do I have an issue with this? Nope. I don’t find it necessary to ask for special treatment as a woman that happens to love sports just as much as any other fan. I am simply supporting a team that I love, no need for special recognition. As a female in sports media, almost everyone around me is male. Do I have an issue with this? Nope. I am encouraged by the support from male colleagues and mentors, which definitely outweighs the criticism.
As a female in general, basic preventative care and decisions about our bodies have been a common debate topic since as long as I can remember. Do I have an issue with this topic in a political setting? Nope. I am hopeful women get the care and rights to do what they believe in with their bodies. Do I have an issue with the pro-life vs. pro-choice argument being brought into baseball? Yes, I do.
UltraViolet Strikes Back
Tonight UltraViolet will be flying a banner with a message to the Royals:
“ROYALS FANS DESERVE THE TRUTH- DROP VITAE.”
While UltraViolet has been portrayed in the media as a strictly pro-choice group, their actual description is this:
“We work on a range of issues—reproductive rights, healthcare, economic security, violence, racial justice, and immigration—and we center the voices of all women, especially women of color and LGBTQ women. UltraViolet exists to create a cost for sexism and to achieve full equity for all women through culture and policy change.
We fight attacks against women and work toward a proactive vision of what equality looks like for women. We demand accountability from individuals, the media, and institutions that perpetuate sexist narratives or seek to limit the rights, safety, and economic security of women.”
This banner will be flying at Kauffman Stadium starting at 4:00 PM this afternoon, courtesy of UltraViolet’s mission to keep the Royals accountable for the pro-life propaganda being aired on their radio networks and advertisement in Kauffman Stadium. The Royals have made a statement saying they take no official position about culturally sensitive issues, even though they allow the Vitae Foundation to use their networks and platforms to broadcast their position on this culturally sensitive issue.
Drop Vitae Foundation
So to the Royals organization, from a female fan simply wanting to escape the politically fueled world around me during an evening at the ballpark, please pull the sponsorship from the Vitae Foundation. There is a time and a place for political agendas being pushed and the time is not during a Royals game at Kauffman Stadium.
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