A number of players for the Tampa Bay Rays have decided not to wear rainbow-colored logos on their uniforms as part of the team’s annual “Pride Night” on Saturday that recognized the LGBTQ community, and manager Kevin Cash doesn’t think that it will negatively impact the clubhouse.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, pitchers Jason Adam, Jalen Beeks, Brooks Raley, Jeffrey Springs and Ryan Thompson elected to remove the logos, with Adam (speaking for the group) saying it was a “faith-based decision” for a number of them.
Cash addressed it following Sunday’s game.
“First and foremost, I think the organization has done a really good thing to have Pride Nights supporting our gay community to come out and have a nice night at the ballpark,” Cash said (h/t ESPN). “Impressed that our players have had those conversations and we want to support our players that choose to wear or choose not to wear to the best of our capabilities.”
Adam spoke about it further with the Tampa Bay Times.
“So it’s a hard decision,” Adam said. “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.
“… It’s not judgmental. It’s not looking down. 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.”
“It’s one of those things, my parents taught me to love everyone as they are, go live your life, whatever your preferences are, go be you,” Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier said (Kiermaier opted to wear the logos). “I can’t speak for everyone who’s in here, obviously, but this is a family-friendly environment here at a big league ballfield.
“… We just want everyone to feel welcomed and included and cheer us on. No matter what your views on anything are.”
Many sports teams, brands, businesses, and LGBTQ content creators are taking part in Pride Month during June.