Several Rays players opt out of wearing rainbow hats, sleeve decals for Pride Night

June is Pride Month, and the Tampa Bay Rays are revealing their assistance for the LGBTQ+ neighborhood by having Pride Night at Tropicana Field, which includes gamers using unique hats with rainbow logo designs and a sleeve decal on the field. But numerous Rays gamers chose versus using any Pride-encouraging clothes on Saturday night, which was Pride Night at Tropicana Field.

According to Mark Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, the Rays chose to make their Pride Night uniforms optional, permitting gamers to make their own choice about whether they wished to use the rainbow hat and put the rainbow decal on their sleeves. The bulk of the group appeared to get involved, however a group of gamers chose to use their typical uniforms and hats rather.

It’s not understood precisely the number of gamers chose not to use the uniforms, however Topkin reported that the group consisted of pitchers Jason Adam, Jalen Beeks, Brooks Raley, Jeffrey Springs and Ryan Thompson.

Only one gamer went over the choice to pull out of the uniforms: Jason Adam, who was selected by group authorities to speak on behalf of the group. Adam’s description concentrated on religious beliefs, clearly stating that the group didn’t wish to “encourage” the “lifestyle” of LGBTQ+ individuals due to their individual belief in Jesus.

“A lot of it comes down to faith, to like a faith-based decision,” Adam stated by means of the Tampa Bay Times. “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.”

While it does not appear that a gamer was selected by group authorities to speak on behalf of the gamers who used the Pride Night uniforms, Kevin Kiermaier gone over why he chose to noticeably support the LGBTQ+ neighborhood.

“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 stated. “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.”

The Rays’ Pride Night uniforms consisted of a rainbow sunburst decal and a hat with a rainbow Rays logo design. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

Choice stimulated ‘discussions,’ not department

Topkin reported that it was necessary to the Rays to make the Pride Night consistent optional and elective, though they were wishing for complete involvement.

The Rays’ choice to make Pride Night uniforms optional might have presented discord into the clubhouse, given that certainly not everybody accepted noticeably support the LGBTQ+ neighborhood. However, according to Topkin, gamers and coaches stated that there had actually been “numerous” discussions about the concern within the clubhouse, and it didn’t trigger any discord in between gamers.

When inquired about whether the discussions triggered any “division” in the clubhouse, supervisor Kevin Cash stated that the reverse had actually occurred: the discussions were both efficient and considerate.

“I certainly hope not,” supervisor Kevin Cash stated. “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.”

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