A number of Tampa Bay Rays players decided not to wear rainbow-colored logos on their uniforms as part of the team’s annual LGBTQ “Pride Night” on Saturday.
The Rays officials wanted full participation from the team but gave all of the players a choice to “opt-in” and wear a rainbow-colored logo added to the “TB” on their ball caps and a sunburst on the right sleeve of their game jerseys.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, more than half the players appeared to participate.
But some players refused to wear the LGBTQ+ logos including pitchers Jason Adam, Jalen Beeks, Brooks Raley, Jeffrey Springs, and Ryan Thompson. The pitchers and other players who chose not to wear the “Pride Night” apparel wore their regular home game jerseys and hat.
Adam was chosen by team officials to speak for the players who opted out. He told The Times it was primarily a “faith-based” decision.
“A lot of it comes down to faith, to like a faith-based decision,” the Rays pitcher said. “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.”
Adam also told the newspaper that he and the rest of the players love and care about these men and women.
“It’s not judgmental. It’s not looking down,” he explained. “It’s just what we believe the lifestyle he’s encouraged us to live, for our good, not to withhold. But again, we love these men and women, we care about them, and we want them to feel safe and welcome here.”