Pittsburgh Pirates face backlash for posting homophobic nation singers towards Vax | Information | Pittsburgh
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CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
PNC Park, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pittsburgh Pirates are celebrating their (re) opening weekend from Thursday, July 1st with a concert that frustrates many Pittsburgh residents and calls the professional baseball team.
Big & Rich, the country music duo Big Kenny and John Rich, is booked to headline the July 1 postgame concert at PNC Park, but John Rich’s history of homophobic and anti-vaccine tweets and comments is for many a point of contention on social media, including local writer Virginia Montanez and author and native son Brian Cuban, who is the brother of billionaire Mark Cuban.
Cuban and Montanez tweeted screenshots of Rich’s June 12 tweet: “Do you think Fauci will choose the top or bottom bunk in his cell at GITMO? I think he’s the lower bunk guy, ”Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Both Cuban and Montanez expressed frustration with the pirates’ decision to book Big & Rich. Montanez particularly points to Rich’s anti-vaccine story as the pirates partner with Allegheny Health Network to host a vaccination clinic on June 19.
“I love you @Pirates, but I’m getting angrier and angrier,” Montanez tweeted on June 26th. “Allowing this to be an insult to every AHN employee and volunteer you have worked with to distribute vaccines, and during Pride month as a good? I’m so disgusted. “
I love you @Pirates, but I keep getting angrier and angrier. Letting this happen is an insult to every AHN employee and volunteer you have worked with to distribute vaccines, including during Pride month? I am so disgusted. https://t.co/d4iln8O1Cb
– Virginia Montanez (@JanePitt) June 26, 2021 Montanez stated in response to a comment on her tweet, “It’s the hypocrisy of pirates calling themselves vaccine partners and LGBTQ allies.”
Rich has shared anti-vaccine sentiments time and again in the past, including in a June 20 tweet that said, “My kids are not going to be used in a laboratory experiment.” He also made a homophobic comment that mistakenly equated gay marriage with incest. He later apologized after many gay employees at Warner Bros., the label Big & Rich is under contract, expressed disappointment over his comment.
A request for comment from the pirates was not immediately returned.
For most of Pride Month, also known as June, the pirate’s profile photo on social media was the logo in a rainbow pattern. However, this has since been changed to a photo of Pirates player Adam Frazier.
Cuban’s June 26 tweet shared a similar disapproval of the pirates’ decision when he asked the pirates, “Please tell me you didn’t invite that idiot to perform?” Both tweets received dozens of comments, many of them the The view of Cuban and Montanez supported, although some replied expressing anger or disapproval of the problem.
Hey my beloved @pirates please tell me you didn’t invite that idiot to perform pic.twitter.com/Kv04FBMAkU
– Brian Cuban (@bcuban) June 26, 2021