Players Said LGBTQ Is ‘Not A Lifestyle We Want To Encourage’

Jason Adam and several other players for the Tampa Bay Rays refused to wear rainbow logos on their uniforms for the teams' 16th annual Pride Night event.
Jason Adam of the Tampa Bay Rays (screen capture via YouTube)

The Tampa Bay Ray’s 16th annual Pride Night celebration wasn’t exactly a grand slam after several players refused to wear rainbow-themed caps for the event.

Pitchers Jason Adam, Jalen Beeks, Brooks Raley, Jeffrey Springs and Ryan Thompson were among the players who peeled off rainbow patches from their uniforms. They also ditched special caps sporting a rainbow version of the teams’ logo.

Adam spoke to the Tampa Bay Times on behalf of the players who opted out of wearing the Pride gear.

“A lot of it comes down to faith, to like a faith-based decision. 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.”

“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.”

But outfielder Kevin Kiermaier, who chose to wear the cap and burst logo, said inclusivity was an important element to him.

“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.”

Team officials say they would have preferred full participation, but also felt it was important to give players and staff a choice whether or not to take part in the celebration.

Manager Kevin Cash told CBS Sports the players had several conversations over the past couple of weeks discussing the issue. “I think what it has created is, like, what you’ve heard — a lot of conversation and valuing the different perspectives inside the clubhouse but really appreciating the community that we’re trying to support here,” said Cash.

Related: Dodgers Pride Night Was a Gay Ol’ Time!

The Rays, along with the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers, are the only three teams in Major League Baseball to incorporate the rainbow symbol into their uniforms for Pride Night. The Giants and Dodgers had full team participation.

For those interested, the Rays lost the game to the Chicago White Sox 3-2.

(source: Tampa Bay Times, CBS Sports)

4 thoughts on “Players Said LGBTQ Is ‘Not A Lifestyle We Want To Encourage’”

  1. “But this is a family friendly environment here at a big league ball park”. Yes if excessive cussing and acting like drunken fools are family friendly.

    Reply
  2. Makes every sense in the world. How’d we go from acceptance and “let us live our lives” to forcing people to wear clothes saying they celebrate us? Sports people are big on the idea that merch you wear is an endorsement. Let’s force AA people to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day or SantaCon. Let’s force Amish people to celebrate Rosh Hashanah, wear orthodox clothes and celebrate, bitches! It seems like a page taken from the “YOU MUST WANT TO HAVE SEX WITH US” trans playbook. For a community that thinks changing your wardrobe actually changes your sex, coming in to someone’s place of work (this is their job and have to be there) and dictating everyone’s wardrobe seems a contradictory and hypocritical stance.

    Reply
  3. First mistake is to say it is a lifestyle that you picked. It is not. YOU. ARE. BORN. THS. WAY. PERIOD…Then do not show up and play, Its is counter productive Hey I dont believe in you but hey I still support you. Makes no sense what so ever.

    Reply

Leave a Comment