'Sad and infuriating:' Openly gay former pro baseball player speaks out on Rays players' stance

Former expert baseball gamer Bryan Ruby, who came out as openly gay last September, stated the choices of numerous Tampa Bay Rays gamers to decrease using LGBTQ decals on specialized caps on their uniform is a bad search for baseball and an example of why gamers on present MLB lineups stay closeted.

Several Rays gamers, consisting of pitchers Jason Adam, Jalen Beeks, Brooks Raley, Jeffrey Springs and Ryan Thompson, decreased to use unique caps with a various colored Tampa Bay logo design this past Saturday, deciding rather for their basic ones, as the company commemorated Pride Night versus the Chicago White Sox.

“It sends a very clear message, and that message is: LGBTQ people are not welcome here,” Ruby informed U.S.A. TODAY Sports. “A lot of guys just don’t get that they’ve always had, and will continue to have, gay teammates. Such antiquated language and behavior actively hurts the team. It’s hard enough to be gay in baseball.

“I can’t assist however observe that for the 146th successive year, there are no honestly gay gamers in Major League Baseball. And when your own colleagues might openly gesture that you don’t belong there, it’s damn near difficult to prosper in the sport.”

Rays manager Kevin Cash downplayed there being a divide in the team’s locker room and supported individual players’ beliefs. But Ruby said allowing a lack of unity is contradictory to the organization’s seemingly inclusive message. He said a contributing factor to coming out when he was playing for the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes was due to the support he felt from teammates when he was wearing rainbow shoelaces. That wouldn’t have happened if he played for the Rays.

“I question if Rays management would parrot their totally phony message of supporting ‘diversity and inclusivity’ in the company if Rays gamers flat out declined to use number 42 on Jackie Robinson day,” Ruby said. “Don’t get me incorrect, Pride Nights are fantastic for the fan base and surrounding neighborhood, however they do really little to resolve the circumstance in the locker space.”

After coming out in September in a USA TODAY Sports story, Ruby founded Proud To Be In Baseball, a non-profit support group led by Ruby and other publicly out players for closeted athletes to go for consultation and solace. A country music singer-songwriter, Ruby just released a lead single, “Left Field,” from the upcoming documentary, “Out in Nashville.”

Billy Bean, the MLB vice president and special assistant to the commissioner, told USA TODAY Sports last fall that several current MLB players have chosen to remain closeted for various fear-driven reasons.

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” When your colleagues head out of their method to show they don’t accept you, it can be definitely squashing, and clearly quite damn difficult to wear and play well,” Ruby said. “What does it state to all the young small leaguers imagining one day getting a shot in the major leagues? That when you arrive, you can live you dream however just at the expense of concealing your genuine self from the world? It’s both unfortunate and shocking to understand most other men like me are relegated to strolling on eggshells in the shadows of a culture still strangely similar to the ‘Don’t ask, don’t inform’ world we apparently proceeded from over a years back.”

Adam, the Rays’ pitcher, cited his reasoning for not sporting LGBTQ inclusive parts on his uniform as being a “faith-based choice.”

“It’s a difficult choice,” Adam told the Tampa Bay Times. “Because eventually all of us stated what we desire is them to understand that all are welcome and enjoyed here. But when we put it on our bodies, I believe a great deal of men chose that it’s simply a way of life that perhaps — not that they look down on any person or believe in a different way — it’s simply that perhaps we don’t wish to motivate it if our company believe in Jesus, who’s urged us to live a way of life that would avoid that habits, much like (Jesus) motivates me as a heterosexual male to avoid sex beyond the boundaries of marital relationship. It’s no various.”

Ruby labeled the pitcher’s stance as homophobia.

“It constantly baffles me when men utilize Jesus as their reason to discriminate,” Ruby said. “Like, wasn’t Jesus the person who preached ‘Love Thy Neighbor’ (or ‘love thy teammate’ as it uses in this circumstance)?” he said. “This isn’t about faith. This has to do with being a great colleague. When men head out of their method to make a point of opposing Pride Night, they’re sending out a clear message that individuals like me simply aren’t invite in baseball. It’s a tip that even on the one night we get to take pride in ourselves at the ballpark, we are still second-class people. It’s as easy as that.”

Follow national reporter Scott Gleeson on Twitter @ScottMGleeson.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Bryan Ruby on Rays’ players Pride Night remarks: ‘Sad and infuriating’

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