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Tiffani Faison thanks supporters after receiving ‘hateful’ backlash following first pitch on Pride Night at Fenway

Celebrity chef and restauranteur Tiffani Faison reacts after throwing out the first pitch on Pride Night at Fenway Park.Mary Schwalm/Associated Press

Boston celebrity chef Tiffani Faison fulfilled a bucket list moment last week when she threw out the first pitch at Fenway Park in celebration of Pride Night. Faison, who’s gay, wore a rainbow armband and was joined by three drag queens who cheered her on near the pitcher’s mound.

But the next morning, the renowned restauranteur said the moment felt slightly spoiled after she received a wave of negative comments from online trolls.

“Last night I had one of my favorite life moments surrounded by the love and support of my sweet friends,” Faison wrote on Twitter, replying to a video of the ceremonial first pitch posted by NESN. “This morning I woke up to a bunch of hateful bs comments.”


Faison, a regular on cooking competition shows like “Chopped,” “Tournament of Champions,” and the new “Beachside Brawl,” then asked for a little backup: “[NESN] & gay twitter, can I get an assist here pls?”

Online supporters immediately rallied behind Faison, who is the chef-owner of many celebrated Boston eateries including Orfano and Sweet Cheeks in the Fenway, and Bubble Bath and Tenderoni’s in the new downtown High Street Place food hall.

“That pitch was on [fire]. Let the haters burn in their misery and keep on being amazing. It’s sad people have so much hate in their hearts,” one person wrote.

“Baseball if quintessentially American and it belongs to ALL of us, period, no matter what,” another tweeted.

“You do you,” another said. “There are more people in your corner than you realize.”

“Cheers to [Faison] for her work at Fenway — she deserves to see this dream come true. And shame on anyone who made hateful comments. There is no place for that anywhere, let alone here,” another user commented.


Faison would not comment on the backlash, choosing instead to focus on the thrill of throwing out the first pitch at the Sox game and the outpouring of support she received.

“It was an incredible honor to throw out the first pitch on Pride Night at Fenway,” Faison said. “It was a super joyful night for me, my team at Big Heart Hospitality and our entire community.”

Faison was joined on the pitcher’s mound by drag queens Sassination, Coleslaw, and Pamela Manderson. Wednesday marked the ninth year Fenway Park has hosted Pride Night, and festivities included a pre-game party that featured Boston-based drag artists Linda Marie Póssa, Chanel thee Angel and Candace Persuasion.

Brittany Bowker can be reached at brittany.bowker@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @brittbowker and on Instagram @brittbowker.