The Staten Island Yankees' recent partnership with a locally-owned and operated Chick-fil-A has received backlash from the borough's LGBTQ community.
The Pride Center of Staten Island ended all communication with the team and publicly called for a boycott of the Yankees' minor-league affiliate after partnering with the Atlanta-based chicken franchise that has infamously supported anti-LGBTQ groups.
Staten Island Yankees President and Operating Partner Will Smith issued a statement on Friday reiterating the team's support of the LGBTQ community as well as detailing their attempt to speak with the Pride Center of Staten Island.
Statement from the Staten Island Yankees. pic.twitter.com/WGlopSCLpM- Staten Island Yankees (@SIYanks) April 12, 2019
"Our ballpark has always been, and will continue to be, a safe space for the LGBTQ community," the statement began. "We believe we were the first professional baseball team in New York City to host a Pride Night in 2015 when we partnered with the Pride Center of Staten Island. ... We intend to continue our efforts to engage and embrace the LGBTQ community on Staten Island and beyond. It is part of our central theme to invite everyone to our home and offer as a destination for our entire community to gather and be entertained."
The letter continues to sat the Pride Center contacted them on Wednesday and ended all communication with the team because of a partnership with Chick-fil-A.
"We responded to the Pride Center yesterday [Thursday] and asked for the opportunity to meet to better understand their stance in hopes of building a bridge of communication to educate our community on these issues. We received no response, and then a public call was made by the Pride Center for our community to boycott the Staten Island Yankees."
The statement closes that the team remains open to communication on this particular issue and hopes that the Staten Island community will continue to support the team.