5 Rays players choose not to wear rainbow-colored hats, uniforms during Pride Night

Posted: 06/06/2022 in MLB, Sports
Tags: , , , , ,

Five players from the Tampa Bay Rays chose not to support the LGBTQ+ community by wearing rainbow-colored hats and uniforms during the team’s Pride Night celebration at Tropicana Field on Saturday.

Pitchers Jason AdamJalen BeeksBrooks RaleyJeffrey Springs, and Ryan Thompson decided they wouldn’t wear the team’s alternate hat and also chose to peel off a rainbow-colored sunburst on the right sleeves of their uniforms.

Adam spoke on behalf of the players, explaining their decisions were “faith-based” and not meant to be “judgmental.”

“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,” Adam said, according to Tampa Bay Times’ Marc Topkin.

“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.”

The Rays gave their players the choice of wearing the uniforms or not, although they would have preferred full participation, according to Topkin.

Kevin Kiermaier, the longest-serving member of the Rays, did wear the alternate hat and uniform on Saturday.

“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,” Kiermaier said.

“I can’t speak for everyone who’s in here, obviously, but this is a family-friendly environment here at a big-league ball field. … We just want everyone to feel welcomed and included and cheer us on. No matter what your views on anything are.”

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