The Tampa Bay Rays celebrated the LGBTQ community on Saturday night. The team’s annual ‘Pride Night’ saw the Rays sporting rainbow-colored logos to show their solidarity towards the cause. Several Rays players refused to participate in the event.

The change was simple, as Rays players donned the pride-themed logos on their hats and jerseys. Most of the team did participate. Five players, who cited religious reasons, wore their standard uniforms instead.

Jason Adam, Jalen Beeks, Brooks Raley, Jeffrey Springs, and Ryan Thompson all refused to wear the pride colors. Adam, a relief pitcher, said the decision came down to his faith. He said Jesus encouraged him to make the choice, according to comments he made to the Tampa Bay Times.

“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.”

Team officials would have preferred the entire team to participate. They also felt it was important to give players a choice. For several Tampa Bay Rays players, wearing a rainbow on their shirts and hat was too much to ask.

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Michael Perry

Michael Perry is a news contributor for Ringside News and Thirsty for News. Michael has an M.A. in Communication Technology from Point Park University in his hometown of Pittsburgh, PA.

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