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Gay MLB umpire talks new book, D.C. Pride Night Out appearance

Dale Scott shares what goes on behind baseball’s curtain

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Former MLB umpire Dale Scott (third from left) jokes he should have titled new book ‘I Blew the Call, and the Catcher too.’ (Photo courtesy Scott)

The last time the Blade checked in with Major League Baseball umpire Dale Scott in 2018, he was happily retired and making occasional appearances at MLB Pride nights and Pride parades.

There have been several books published by retired MLB umpires, but Scott didn’t have a desire to follow suit with one of his own. Even though people kept suggesting he write a book, he put the thought out of his mind.

In 2019, he met up with baseball writer Rob Neyer for coffee and to get his copy of Neyer’s recent book autographed. Neyer insisted that Scott had a story and that it was twofold, a baseball story and a gay story.

“Honestly, that was what put me over the hump,” says Scott. “I love sharing baseball stories, details on big games, and what goes on behind the curtain. As for the gay side, I felt that if my story could help one person in a positive way that it would be worth writing it.”

An agreement was struck with Neyer to co-write and 12 months later they found a publisher who gave them a six-month deadline. Scott had saved all of his minor league ejection reports and used MLB stats to refresh his memory of the dates that defined his career.

The Umpire is Out” was released in April and is a rollicking journey through Scott’s nearly 40 years of umpiring including 33 years in MLB from 1985 to 2017. 

In amusing fashion, he spotlights his run-ins with team managers, players, fans, supervisors, and fellow umpires. Along the way, Scott shines a light on how much the sport of baseball actually revolves around the success, or failure, of the umpires to uphold the rules of the sport and ensure that play is fair.

Scott also chronicles the energy that was spent on hiding his sexuality. There were secret trips, a fake girlfriend, and a ‘roommate’ at home that watched his house during his travel months. Scott married his husband Mike in 2013 and came out publicly the following year, receiving a positive response from his peers and the baseball community.

The book tour for “The Umpire is Out” has been a mix of radio podcasts, bookstore signings and appearances at MLB Pride nights. He is currently scheduled for eight MLB Pride nights and will appear at Pride Night OUT at the Nationals on June 14.

When asked about sharing his gay experiences on radio podcasts with straight hosts, Scott says he doesn’t take anything too personally.

“One or two of the podcasts were all about my baseball experiences,” Scott says. “All of the others brought up the personal side. Their questions were all valid and the intent was to get an understanding of what I experienced as a gay man.”

Just last week, Scott appeared on The Jim Rome Show podcast and a tweet came through while he was on-air. A father and his gay son had pulled over while driving to listen to the podcast. The son wants to become an umpire.

For now, Scott is back into the travel routine that he left behind when his career ended. That ending came in his 3,897th MLB game on April 14, 2017, in Toronto when he took a foul ball to the chin area of his mask and suffered a concussion and whiplash.

“I never had a farewell tour or that foreknown knowledge that my career was ending,” says Scott. “It’s been great being on the road again, seeing old friends and visiting old haunts. It has put a little pep in my step.”

Scott is open for whatever comes his way in the future and part of that will include umpire camps and clinics along with following the sports teams of his beloved University of Oregon Ducks. He is also entertaining the notion of an audio book but stands firm on who should be the voice.

“Because of my radio past, I would definitely want to be the voice for the book,” Scott says. “I would just pick anyone else apart.”

You don’t have to be a sports fan, or a member of the LGBTQ community to enjoy “The Umpire is Out.” Scott has presented an enjoyable read that feels like you are sitting at a pub listening to a good friend share a story. 

Scott has one last thing he would like to share — his original title for the book.

“I like the title we came up with, but I thought it should be called ‘I Blew the Call, and the Catcher too’,” says Scott laughing. “Now that’s a title.”

The Blade may receive commissions from qualifying purchases made via this post.

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Protester with Pride flag disrupts World Cup game

Protest took place during match between Portugal and Uruguay

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(Al Jazeera screenshot)

During a World Cup match between Portugal and Uruguay Monday, a lone protester ran across the field waving a Pride flag moments after the second half kickoff.

Video and still images show the man wearing a blue T-shirt emblazoned with the Superman symbol and the phrase “Save Ukraine” on the front and “Respect for Iranian Woman” on the back.

Screenshot of news coverage at the World Cup 2022 games from Al Jazeera

Qatari security personnel chased him down and then marched him off the playing field. Israeli Public Radio correspondent Amichai Stein tweeted video clips of the incident:

FIFA had no immediate comment on the incident, the Associated Press noted reporting that in the first week of the tournament in Qatar, seven European teams lost the battle to wear multi-colored “One Love” armbands during World Cup matches. Fans also complained they weren’t allowed to bring items with rainbow colors, a symbol of LGBTQ rights, into the stadiums of the conservative Islamic emirate.

Qatar’s laws against homosexuality and treatment of LGBTQ people were flashpoints in the run-up to the first World Cup to be held in the Middle East. Qatar has said everyone was welcome, including LGBTQ fans, but that visitors should respect the nation’s culture.

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Blinken criticizes FIFA threat to fine World Cup team captains with ‘one love’ armbands

Qatar criminalizes homosexuality by death

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Secretary of State Antony Blinken (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday criticized FIFA over its threat to sanction European soccer teams if their captains wore “one love” armbands during the 2022 World Cup.

“It’s always concerning from my perspective when we see any restrictions on freedom of expression. It’s especially so when the expression is for diversity and for inclusion,” Blinken told reporters during a press conference with Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani in Doha, the Qatari capital. “And in my judgment, at least, no one on a football pitch should be forced to choose between supporting these values and playing for their team.”

Seven European soccer teams on Monday announced their captains will not wear LGBTQ and intersex armbands during the 2022 World Cup after FIFA threatened to sanction them.

The captains of Belgium, Denmark, England, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Wales had planned to wear the armbands in support of the LGBTQ and intersex community during the World Cup. The teams on Monday in a joint statement said they would not wear the armbands because FIFA had threatened to sanction them if their captains did.

The World Cup began in Qatar on Sunday.

Qatar is among the handful of countries in which consensual same-sex sexual relations remain punishable by death. A report that Human Rights Watch published last month noted several cases of “severe and repeated beatings” and “sexual harassment” of LGBTQ and intersex people while in police custody from 2019 and September 2022. 

A State Department official last week acknowledged to the Washington Blade that the U.S. raised LGBTQ and intersex rights with the Qatari government ahead of the World Cup.

The U.S. men’s soccer team while in Qatar will have a redesigned logo with the Pride flag in its badge. Blinken attended their match against Wales on Monday.

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European soccer teams won’t wear ‘one love’ armbands after FIFA threatens sanctions

World Cup began in Qatar on Sunday

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Iran plays England during the 2022 World Cup in Qatar on Nov. 21, 2022. (Screenshot via FS1)

Seven European soccer teams on Monday announced their captains will not wear LGBTQ and intersex armbands during the 2022 World Cup after FIFA threatened to sanction them.

The captains of Belgium, Denmark, England, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Wales planned to wear “one love” armbands during the World Cup. The teams in a joint statement said FIFA threatened to sanction them if their captains wore them.

“We were prepared to pay fines that would normally apply to breaches of kit regulations and had a strong commitment to wearing the armband. However, we cannot put our players in the situation where they might be booked or even forced to leave the field of play,” read the statement. “We are very frustrated by the FIFA decision, which we believe is unprecedented.”

“As national federations, we can’t put our players in a position where they could face sporting sanctions including bookings,” added the statement.

The World Cup began in Qatar on Sunday.

Qatar is among the handful of countries in which consensual same-sex sexual relations remain punishable by death.

Human Rights Watch last month published a report that noted “arbitrary” arrests of LGBTQ and intersex people between 2019 and September 2022 and several cases of “severe and repeated beatings” and “sexual harassment in police custody” during the aforementioned period. World Cup Ambassador Khalid Salman earlier this month described homosexuality as “damage in the mind” during an interview with a German television station.

Peter Tatchell, a British activist, on Oct. 25 protested the country’s LGBTQ and intersex rights record while standing outside the National Museum of Qatar in Doha, the country’s capital. A State Department official on Nov. 18 acknowledged to the Washington Blade that the U.S. raised LGBTQ and intersex rights with the Qatari government ahead of the World Cup.

The U.S. men’s soccer team while in Qatar will have a redesigned logo with the Pride flag in its badge. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will attend their match against Wales on Monday.

England played Iran on Monday. The Netherlands on Monday will play Senegal.

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