At least five players on the Tampa Bay Rays roster opted not to wear a patch the team added to their uniforms intended to celebrate Pride month during Saturday’s 3-2 loss to the Chicago White Sox.
During the team’s 16th annual Pride Night celebration, Rays caps and uniforms had logos colored in the style of the modern LGBTQ+ pride flag, but not everyone in the clubhouse chose to participate.
Pitchers Jason Adam, Jalen Beeks, Brooks Raley, Jeffrey Springs and Ryan Thompson were among the players who did not wear the patch on their uniforms and chose to wear the team’s standard caps. Adam called it a “faith-based decision” and that the decision wasn’t “judgmental,” per the 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.”
St. Louis Cardinals star pitcher Jack Flaherty reacted to the decision on Twitter.
“absolute joke,” he tweeted.
Rays manager Kevin Cash addressed the situation after Sunday’s game, saying that he doesn’t think the different opinions will negatively impact the clubhouse.
Flaherty is currently working his way back from injury.