Five members of the Rays opted out of wearing rainbow logos on their uniforms on Saturday as part of the team’s 16th annual Pride Night celebration, saying it was a “faith-based decision “for many of them. However, another MLB player didn’t seem to accept the explanation given by those who abstained.
Cardinals pitcher Jack Flaherty caught wind of the brewing situation in Tampa to offer his thoughts on Rays pitching on Twitter jason adam, Jalen BeeksBrooks Raley, Jeffrey Springs and Ryan Thompson choosing not to wear the logo. Responding to a tweet about the players’ explanation, Flaherty apparently called the rationale for ditching the logo “an absolute joke”.
Adam, who is in his first season with the Rays, was chosen to speak on behalf of the group who decided not to wear the logos, and called the decision “based on faith”.
“A lot of it comes down to faith, loving a faith-based decision,” Adam said, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Weather.. “So it’s a tough decision. Because at the end of the day, we’ve all said what we want is for them to know that everyone is welcome and loved here. But when we put it on our bodies, I think a lot of guys decided it was just a lifestyle that maybe – not that they looked down on anybody or thought differently – it is just that maybe we don’t want to encourage it if we believe in Jesus, who encouraged us to live a lifestyle that would refrain from that behavior, just like [Jesus] encourages me as a heterosexual man to abstain from sex outside the bounds of marriage. It’s no different.
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“…It’s not a judgement. It’s not looking down. It’s just how we feel about the lifestyle he encouraged us to live, for our sake, not to hold back. But again, we love these men and women, we care about them, and we want them to feel safe and welcome here.
Rays veteran outfielder Kevin Kiermaier, who wore the rainbow logo, said creating an inclusive environment at the team’s ballpark was a priority for him.
“It’s one of those things, my parents taught me to love everyone the way they are, go live your life, whatever your preferences, be yourself,” Kiermaier told Topkin. “I can’t speak for everyone here, obviously, but it’s a family environment here on a big league ballpark… We just want everyone to feel welcome and included and cheer us on. . It doesn’t matter what you think of anything.
Rays manager Kevin Cash addressed the situation after Sunday’s game, saying he doesn’t think the differing opinions will negatively impact the clubhouse. He previously said that the players have had “a lot of conversations” over the past few weeks about this and have focused on “valuing different perspectives”.
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