Brave Tampa Bay Rays Players Refuse to Play Along With Pride Night

It’s June, which means it’s Groomer Pride Month. That may come as a shock to you since it’s such a low-key celebration. 

But seriously, you can’t escape Pride Month no matter how hard you try. It seems like just about every corporation has changed its logo to a rainbow, every streaming service has a “celebrate Pride” section when you log in, and even the U.S. military has gone all-in on LGBTQetc “pride.”

The pervasiveness of what we used to simply call “gay pride” has become so entrenched in our culture that when someone refuses to go along with the nonsense, he or she grabs headlines. 

On Saturday, the Tampa Bay Rays held their annual “Pride Night” game. As part of the festivities, players wore a special rainbow patch on their uniforms to support LGBTQ (and whatever new letters they’ve added this week) pride. Well, most players did. A few players decided to take the brave step of not playing along, choosing not to wear the patch on their uniforms. 

ESPN reports that “Among players who elected to remove the logos were pitchers Jason AdamJalen BeeksBrooks RaleyJeffrey Springs, and Ryan Thompsonaccording to the Tampa Bay Times. According to CBS News, “Adam was elected to speak for the group after the game, saying it was a ‘faith-based decision’ for many of them.”

Adam explained how the players’ Christian faith played into their decision. He told the Tampa Bay Times that “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.”

Adam added that the players’ refusal to wear the Pride patch is “not judgmental.”
The “Pride Night” event included “members of the LGBTQ community” taking part in festivities, and the Rays organization gave out mini Pride flags. 


Center fielder Kevin Kiermaier, who was among the players who chose to wear the patch, also defended his decision, telling reporters that “We just want everyone to feel welcomed and included and cheer us on. No matter what your views on anything are.”

Manager Kevin Cash told the media after the game that he didn’t expect the difference of opinions on “Pride Night” to create divisions on the team because the players had discussions before Saturday about their perspectives. Cash said he was “Impressed that our players have had those conversations and we want to support our players that choose to wear or choose not to wear to the best of our capabilities.”

Of course. ESPN mentions Gov. Ron DeSantis and Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law but surprisingly doesn’t refer to the law as “Don’t Say Gay.” The article does make a point of mentioning that “Pride Night” drew above-average crowds for the Rays. 

At a time when the rest of the world thinks that standing out means letting your freak flag fly, these brave men stood out by standing up for their faith and against a culture that continues to normalize the most obnoxious behavior of the LGBTQ movement. Good for them.

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