In a surprising announcement, several players on the Tampa Bay Rays revealed that they chose not to wear pride night logos on their uniforms during a recent game against the Chicago White Sox, citing religious reasons.
The baseball team made special hats with a rainbow version of the Tampa Bay Rays’ logo, and were reportedly shocked to discover that not all of the players wanted to participate. The team also added a rainbow sunburst to their uniform’s sleeve for the game.
“Pitchers Jason Adam, Jalen Beeks, Brooks Raley, Jeffrey Springs and Ryan Thompson were among those who did not, electing to peel off the burst logo and wear the standard hat,” according to reporting from The Tampa Bay Times.
Adam, 30, was chosen by team officials to make a statement on behalf of the players who refused to wear the pride logo.
“A lot of it comes down to faith, to like a faith-based decision,” he said.
“So it’s a hard decision,” Adam continued. “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.”
“It’s not judgmental. It’s not looking down,” he added. “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.”
The news comes soon after Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) vetoed a bill including $35 million that was earmarked for a Tampa Bay Rays facility.
“I don’t support giving taxpayer dollars to professional sports stadiums, period,” the governor said. “That was just the decision that was going to be made.”
Many have claimed that DeSantis’ decision was in response to the team’s recent anti-Second Amendment activism, in which the Rays published a statement allocating funds to an anti-gun charity in the wake of the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
“This cannot become normal. We cannot become numb. We cannot look the other way,” the team’s statement said. “We all know, if nothing changes, nothing changes.”
“The Rays organization stands committed to actionable change and has made a $50,000 commitment to Everytown for Gun Safety’s Support Fund,” the statement continued.