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Dodgers manager Dave Roberts expresses support for team's Pride Night: 'We welcome everyone'

Ahead of the Dodgers' 10th annual Pride Night, manager Dave Roberts said he welcomes anyone who comes to the stadium to support his baseball club.

Despite intense backlash, longtime Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts expressed support for the organization's recent Pride Night.

In recent weeks, the franchise has faced criticism for its decision to honor the Los Angeles chapter of The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence at Dodger Stadium.

"For me, this is an existential question for me," Roberts said Friday while wearing a Pride-themed Dodgers hat. 

"It’s a big, overarching kind of question in the sense that my parents raised me to love everyone. To respect everyone."

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Roberts added that even when people disagree, they should still "be able to coexist."

"Treat people the way that you would want to be treated. We’re not always going to agree on everyone’s decisions in life," Roberts said. "That’s the way the world works. And that’s OK. I do think that we should still all be able to coexist. 

"For me, it just always goes back to loving everyone. And as the manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, a baseball team, I welcome — we welcome — anyone that comes through these gates to support our ball club."

THOUSANDS PROTEST SISTERS OF PERPETUAL INDULGENCE OUTSIDE DODGER STADIUM HOURS BEFORE START OF PRIDE NIGHT

Hours before Pride Night festivities began Friday, demonstrators in opposition to the satirical LGBTQ+ group receiving the Community Hero Award gathered in a parking lot just outside Dodger Stadium. Organizers called the gathering a "prayerful procession."

The Dodgers played the San Francisco Giants Friday night. Gabe Kapler, the Giants' manager, said he was "very proud to be wearing pride colors tonight. I know many of our players feel the same."

Kapler also spoke about the protestors, saying, "I believe in and support any peaceful protest."

The Dodgers engaged in a back-and-forth with The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. After receiving backlash, the team rescinded its invitation to the group, only to invite it again several days later.

"People are going to have different opinions, but our culture now is in a place where we’re not coexisting, and that’s what’s sad and unfortunate," Roberts said. "I love everyone. That’s kind of where I’m at. Anyone who wants to come in here and support us and the Dodgers, I’m all in. We’re all in. That’s how I was raised."

The Dodgers held a players-only meeting May 29, the same day the team's star pitcher, Clayton Kershaw, publicly shared that he disagreed with the franchise's decision to host The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.

"This has nothing to do with the LGBTQ community or Pride or anything like that," he told the Los Angeles Times. "This is simply a group that was making fun of a religion. That I don’t agree with."

Roberts said he welcomes different "thoughts and beliefs" from his players.

"They’re all individuals, and they have their thoughts and beliefs," Roberts said. "I welcome that. I think it’s great. But I haven’t really had conversations. I think between themselves, among themselves, they have. And I think it’s just important that everyone is educated and has conversations. That’s always important, and I support that."

Earlier this week, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said he wants to leave decisions on hosting a Pride Night to each franchise.

"We have told teams, in terms of actual uniforms, hats, bases, that we don’t think putting logos on them is a good idea just because of the desire to protect players," Manfred said, "not putting them in a position of doing something that may make them uncomfortable because of their personal views."

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