In trying to finalize a contract with Chicago White Sox in January 2021 after spending five seasons with the Oakland Athletics, relief pitcher Liam Hendriks wanted to know a certain piece of information about the team that had nothing to do with money or the length of his deal.
“It wasn’t a demand,” Hendriks said to The Athletic. “It was a simple question of, ‘Do you guys have a Pride Night?’ And if you don’t, that will be something that we need to look into that working out, making sure that we can handle it, because I don’t want to go necessarily to a team that doesn’t do it.”
The White Sox do have a Pride Night; this season it’s on June 23 when the Baltimore Orioles come to town.
Hendriks, who currently is on the injured list with a right forearm strain, said when he raised the Pride Flag last year, the feedback he received on social media was “horrendous.”
“I can only imagine someone doing it and actually having to go through it themselves with already feeling slightly ostracized in a clubhouse where you don’t know where people’s allegiances lie. That’s a scary thought and it’s a scary world,” Hendriks said.
Hendriks will get a chance to participate in another Pride Night when the White Sox are in Anaheim the next week for the Los Angeles Angels’ Pride Night on June 28.
“It’s something that I’ve believed in,” Hendriks said. “The biggest thing is making sure that hopefully it starts more of a trend of other people willing to do it. And then the more people that are willing to do it, the more people are willing to come out publicly and say, ‘I’m fine with this.’ And I’m hoping it strengthens the resolve of those people who may be on the fence about coming out, that may be on the fence of telling family, friends, peers or teammates or anything like that and fully embrace that.”
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: White Sox’s Liam Hendriks asked teams if they had a Pride Night