Pekers gay bar sponsoring team of Dallas Police officers in softball league
DRACONIS VON TRAPP | Intern
When most people in Dallas think of nightclubs sponsoring a softball team, they think of the Pegasus Slowpitch Softball Association. But the owner of the gay bar Pekers, located on Oak Lawn Avenue, this year broke that mold by sponsoring a team of Dallas police officers competing in softball league that plays in Garland.
Frank Holland, owner of Pekers, said the partnership started after some of the officers responded to a call in his bar’s parking lot. The extreme heat of this year’s North Texas summer was taking its toll on the officers, so Holland’s bar offer them water and food.
Not long afterward, “They actually came in and asked us if we would sponsor them,” Holland explained. “They remembered how nice [the people at] Pekers were, and they loved the logo.”
Holland also said the bar has gotten very good response from its patrons, who think it’s great that Pekers is sponsoring the officers’ team.
“Most of the gay bars have a really good rapport [with the Dallas Police],” Holland said. “We think it’s a good thing for the community because it shows the police are not as homophobic as people think they are.”
And the officers are happy with the arrangement, too.
Officer Brian Nolff, one of the softball team members, said that he and his fellow officers worked in the Oak Lawn area and had been looking around at different sponsorship opportunities. The gayborhood had been kind to them in the past, Nolff said, so they figured Pekers’ sponsorship of the team would be a good connection for them.
“It’s been real positive as far as the officers [and the community] are concerned,” Nolff said.
Nolff said it doesn’t matter where the sponsorship comes from, as long as the team supported. The prospect of having a gay bar as a sponsor didn’t deter any of the team members, he said, adding that they “haven’t had an issue with it yet.”
Pekers will be paying for the team’s uniforms and other equipment, and club staff and patrons plan to caravan out to Garland to watch the games. The games will be held on Monday nights at Audubon Park at 7 p.m.