Five Tampa Bay Rays players refuse to wear pride patch.
Five players on the Tampa Bay Rays refused to wear a pride patch on their uniform, according to TMZ.
The players, all pitchers, Jason Adam, Jalen Beeks, Brooks Raley, Jeffrey Springs, and Ryan Thompson, all cited religious beliefs for not wearing the patch (seen below).
“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 the outlet. “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.”
Manager Kevin Cash says the decision wasn’t all good in the clubhouse but things have seemed to work themself out.
“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,” Adam said.
June is Pride month and many teams are showing support in various ways.