Campaign Against The Dodgers
“SISTERS” AND THE DODGERS:
CATHOLIC LEAGUE RESPONSE
The Catholic League campaign against the decision by the Los Angeles Dodgers to honor the “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence” will continue until June 16. To get a quick look at what we’ve done so far, we’ve compiled a list of our initiatives.
The request that I made on May 16 asking our email list of supporters to contact Rob Manfred, the Commissioner of Major League Baseball, about this decision triggered a massive response. One day later, the Dodgers disinvited the “Sisters.” No other public figure or organization had conducted any such campaign before that time, though others followed.
After the Dodgers met with LGBT leaders and supporters, they reinvited the “Sisters” on May 22. The following day we released a detailed report on the history of the bigoted antics of the “Sisters.” That report was sent to over 300 parishes in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and to the most prominent Catholic organizations in the archdiocese; some have yet to receive it. We are asking that Catholics do not attend the June 16 game.
When it comes to culture war battles, good intentions are not enough. Knowing how to win matters. We know: we’ve been in the thick of it for a half century. That is why we decided not to call for a total boycott of the Dodgers—it will never work. Make no mistake, we have been fighting the “Sisters” for decades, and have no intention of stopping.
We are calling for a boycott of the June 16 game. It is at that game, on Pride Night, that the anti-Catholic “Sisters” will receive an award. This kind of pinpointed strategy has paid big dividends for us in the past.
Here is a timeline of our response.
May 16—Catholic League president Bill Donohue writes to Manfred calling on him to intervene to stop the Dodgers from honoring the “Sisters.” Additionally, at approximately 10:40 A.M. ET, we issue a statement asking Catholic League members to contact Manfred to express their outrage. See “DODGERS REWARD ANTI-CATHOLIC HATE SPEECH“
May 17—At approximately 3:00 P.M. ET, Dodgers tweet that they will no longer honor the “Sisters.”
May 17—Within moments of the Dodgers’ announcement, we issue a statement thanking Catholic League members for their efforts. See “DODGERS PULL ANTI-CATHOLIC GROUP“
May 18—Donohue writes to Manfred thanking him for working to combat anti-Catholic bigotry. See “VICTORY OVER DODGERS ANGERS OUR FOES“
May 22—After several days of angry LGBT activists slamming the Dodgers, the baseball team decides to reverse course and reinvite the “Sisters.”
May 23—Donohue again writes Manfred expressing his disappointment with the change of course and asks for a meeting. We request Catholic League members to contact Manfred once more. Further, we call for a boycott of the Dodger’s Pride Night that honors the “Sisters.” See “DODGERS REINVITE BIGOTED ‘SISTERS’“
May 23—We additionally publish a comprehensive report chronicling the anti-Catholic antics of the “Sisters.” See “SISTERS OF PERPETUAL INDULGENCE REPORT“
May 24—We write every parish in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles asking them to join in the boycott of the Dodgers’ Pride Night. In his letter, Donohue includes the report on the “Sisters” to galvanize support for the boycott. See “MASS MAILING TO L.A. PARISHES ON ‘SISTERS’“
May 25—We unveil that efforts to garner support for the boycott of the Dodgers’ Pride Night will be a multifaceted approach and will include outreach to many prominent Catholic leaders in Los Angeles. See “FANS OF ‘SISTERS’ ARE DISORDERED“
May 30—We write every Catholic school in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles asking them to join in the boycott of the Dodgers’ Pride Night. In his letter, Donohue includes the report on the “Sisters” to galvanize support for the boycott. See “L.A. SCHOOLS CONTACTED ON ‘SISTERS’“
June 5—We publish the correspondence between Donohue and Peter A. Magowan, owner of the San Francisco Giants, from 1995 showing how the team at the time handled a similar controversy involving the “Sisters.” The stark contrast between these two incidents reflects the state of our cultural. See “GIANTS APOLOGIZE FOR ‘SISTERS’ STUNT”
June 5—We call on our members to contact California Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins about her invitation to honor the “Sisters” on the floor of the Capitol in Sacramento. See “CA DEMS HONOR BIGOTED ‘SISTERS’”
June 6—We announce the launch of our radio ad calling on Catholics to boycott the Dodgers’ “Pride Night” on June 16. The ad runs 25 times on KABC from June 6 to 9. See “L.A. RADIO AD BLITZ v. DODGERS BEGINS”
June 7—We contact 126 additional Catholic entities in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles asking them to join in the boycott of the Dodgers’ Pride Night. In his letter, Donohue includes the report on the “Sisters” to galvanize support for the boycott. See “MORE L.A. CATHOLICS CONTACTED OVER JUNE 16 GAME”
June 7—Several media outlets, including the Los Angeles Times, take note of the Catholic League’s radio ad urging Catholics to boycott the Dodgers’ “Pride Night” on June 16. The robust media response is indicative of the ad’s effectiveness. See “AD BLITZ AGAINST DODGERS WORKING”
June 7—We contact 236 of the most prominent Hispanic leaders in the Los Angeles area asking them to join in the boycott of the Dodgers’ Pride Night. In his letter, Donohue includes the report on the “Sisters” to galvanize support for the boycott. See “L.A. Latinos: Say No To Dodgers ‘Sisters’ Game”
June 12—Based on the success of our KABC radio ads the previous week, we launch a second round of ads urging fans not to attend the June 16 Dodgers’ “Pride Night” game. They will run on KABC 25 times from June 12-15. See “ROUND 2 OF KABC RADIO AD v. DODGERS“
June 13—We issue a statement on MLB’s double standards in allowing the Dodgers to honor the “Sisters” while tacitly condoning the Blue Jays cutting Anthony Bass for expressing Christian beliefs. Additionally, we encourage our members to contact Manfred again for allowing the team to punish Bass for exercising his his First Amendment right to freedom of speech and freedom of religion. See “MLB’S PERVERTED DEFINITION OF BIGOTRY”
June 13—We contact 114 of the most prominent non-Catholic religious leaders in the Los Angeles area asking them to join in the boycott of the Dodgers’ Pride Night. In his letter, Donohue includes the report on the “Sisters” to galvanize support for the boycott. See “NON-CATHOLIC VIPS CONTACTED OVER JUNE 16 GAME”
June 14—We announce that the Catholic Daughters of America joined our boycott of the Dodgers’ “Pride Night” honoring the “Sisters.” See “CATHOLIC DAUGHTERS JOINS ANTI-DODGERS CAMPAIGN”
June 15—We reach out one last time to everyone we have contacted since this fight with the Dodgers began. Once again we ask these important leaders in LA to support our boycott of the Dodgers’ “Pride Night” honoring the “Sisters” on June 16. See “LAST CALL TO L.A. CATHOLICS”
June 16—We post the Dodger “Code of Conduct” which states no religion can be disrespected at their games. Thus did they make a mockery of their own rule. See “DODGERS VIOLATES CODE OF CONDUCT”
June 17—Our successful outreach campaign achieved victory as we drove down attendance at the Dodgers’ “Pride Night.” The stadium was practically empty when the “Sisters” were honored, and the few people in the stands booed. See “DODGERS ‘SISTERS’ NIGHT IS A BUST”
June 19—Following our victory, we reach out to Commissioner Manfred and every MLB owner asking them to heed this as a warning. If they just play baseball, stay out of politics, and never again honor an anti-Catholic group, they can avoid the PR nightmare and the blowback it engenders. See “MLB OWNERS ASKED NOT TO REPEAT DODGERS STUNT“