Five Tampa Bay Rays roster players opted out of wearing patches the team added to their uniforms to celebrate Pride Month in Saturday’s 3-2 loss to the White Sox from Chicago. During the team 16th Annual Pride Night Celebration The Rays’ caps and uniforms had colorful logos in the style of the modern LGBTQ+ pride flag, but not everyone in the clubhouse chose to participate.
First, a look at the changes Tampa Bay made to the uniforms for Saturday’s game:
Pitchers Jason Adam, Jalen Beeks, Brooks Raley, Jeffrey Springs and Ryan Thompson were among the players who did not wear the crest on their uniforms and opted to wear standard team caps for the home game of the June 4.
Adam was chosen by the organization to speak on behalf of the players who withdrew, and called it a “faith-based decision” and that the decision was not “critical”, according to the Time:
“So it’s a tough decision. Because at the end of the day we all said what we wanted is for them to know that everyone is welcome and loved here. But when we put it on our bodies I think a lot of guys have decided that it’s just a way of life that maybe – not that they look down on anybody or think differently – it’s just that maybe we don’t want not encourage it if we believe in Jesus, who encouraged us to live a lifestyle that would refrain from this behavior, just as [Jesus] encourages me as a heterosexual man to abstain from sex outside the bounds of marriage. It’s no different.”
Manager Kevin Cash said the players’ decision not to wear the pride caps and patches – which the team described as something the players could choose to choose – did not create any division at the club- house. “I think what it’s created is, like, what you’ve heard – lots of conversations and valuing the different perspectives inside the clubhouse but really appreciating the community that we’re trying to support here,” said Cash.