The Tampa Bay Rays were among the biggest stories in baseball this weekend, and not because they dropped consecutive games against the Chicago White Sox.
A number of Rays players opted not to wear rainbow-colored logos on their uniforms as part of the team’s “Pride Night” on Saturday. “Pride Night” was held as a way to recognize the LGBTQ+ community.
Rays reliever Jason Adam was among those who decided not to wear the logos, calling it a “faith-based decision.” The Tampa Bay Times reported Jalen Beeks, Brooks Raley, Jeffrey Springs and Ryan Thompson were among those to join Adam.
“A lot of it comes down to faith, to like a faith-based decision,” Adam told the Tampa Bay Times. “So it’s a hard decision. Because ultimately we all said what we want is them to know that all are welcome and loved here. But when we put it on our bodies, I think a lot of guys decided that it’s just a lifestyle that maybe — not that they look down on anybody or think differently — it’s just that maybe we don’t want to encourage it if we believe in Jesus, who’s encouraged us to live a lifestyle that would abstain from that behavior, just like (Jesus) encourages me as a heterosexual male to abstain from sex outside of the confines of marriage. It’s no different.”
Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash acknowledged the issue after Sunday’s game, but expressed how he didn’t believe it would negatively impact the clubhouse.
“First and foremost, I think the organization has done a really good thing to have Pride Night’s supporting our gay community to come out and have a nice night at the ballpark,” Cash told reporters, per the Associated Press. “Impressed that our players have had those conversions and we want to support our players that choose to wear or choose not to wear to the best of our capabilities.”
Members of the LGBTQ+ community took part in pregame activities at Tropicana Field and miniature LGBTQ+ flags were provided to fans.
June is the official “Pride Month” in the United States.