Leftists on social media are blasting baseball players from the Tampa Bay Rays who cited religious reasons for refusing to wear rainbow colors on their uniforms for the team's LBGTQ Pride Night game Saturday against the visiting Chicago White Sox.
At least five players didn't wear the colors and instead peeled off the rainbow burst logo on their jersey sleeves and wore the team's standard cap instead of the Pride cap with a rainbow-colored “TB” on the front, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
What are the details?
“Our Pride Nights continue to grow both in terms of visibility and participation,” Rays' president Matt Silverman said, according to the Times. “By doing this, we extend an invitation not just for this game but for all of our games that the LGBTQ+ community is invited, welcomed, and celebrated.”
To that end, the franchise decided to make their LBGTQ support more visible by following the lead of the San Francisco Giants and adding rainbow-colored logos to their Pride Night uniforms, the paper said.
But not all the Rays' players wanted to participate, and the team allowed them that choice, the Times said. Among the players who didn't wear the rainbow colors were pitchers Jason Adam, Jalen Beeks, Brooks Raley, Jeffrey Springs, and Ryan Thompson, the paper added.
Team officials chose Adam to speak for the group who refused the rainbow colors, and he told the Times the decision was based on religious beliefs.
“A lot of it comes down to faith, to like a faith-based decision,” Adam said, according to the paper. “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.”
WFLA-TV quoted Thompson as saying “those of us who decided not to wear the patch or hat spent a couple weeks in prayer and a deep dive into Scripture on the subject at hand to come to the decision that we did.”
The station said Thompson added, “if I believe the Bible is infallible and that everlasting life is attainable, yet I bow down to public opinion in the name of tolerance, is that love? I don’t think so.”
Thompson also told WFLA that the Rays as a franchise are “completely unified” in both love for the LGBTQ community and respect for each other’s opinions, views, and values.
But veteran outfielder Kevin Kiermaier did wear the rainbow cap and logo and told the Times that "my parents taught me to love everyone as they are, go live your life, whatever your preferences are, go be you. 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 paper said that during Saturday's Pride Night, the Rays included members of the LGBTQ community in pregame events, gave mini Pride flags to attendees, and made a $20,000 donation to Metro Inclusive Health, which provides diverse health and wellness services to the community.
5 Tampa Bay Rays players forgo Pride-themed jerseys, reports youtu.be
The left-wing hammer comes down
LBGTQ sportswriter Cyd Zeigler posted tweets ripping Rays' players who chose to not wear the rainbow-colored logos.
In one Zeigler wrote, "Will someone please show me the Bible passage that says 'Thou shalt not wear a rainbow on thou's clothing'..." He also said "players don't get to just choose what uniform they wear. That's the point of the word 'uniform.' Welcome to sports."
Other leftists were equally displeased:
- "To the @RaysBaseball players refusing to wear the Pride patch referencing their beliefs In Jesus…. Absolute bulls**t," one Twitter user declared. "Jesus took in and loved thieves, adulterers, prostitutes, and criminals. Don’t you dare use Christ as a [sic] excuse for your homophobic BS. Racist frauds."
- "Hey @RaysBaseball, why did you allow homophobic players to express their homophobia on Pride Night?" another user asked.
- "Religious bigots are one of the worst aspects of American life and have to be condemned and fought at every turn," another user said.
- "All day I thought those Tampa Bay Rays hats were dope without knowing it was for LGBTQ pride," another user revealed. "Those dudes who refused to wear them are lame losers. 'Faith' my ass."
- "If your religious beliefs don’t allow you to wear a damn pride number on your jersey, [d]on’t give your fake performative bulls**t of 'we accept everyone.' [S]o Tampa Bay Rays please get f***ed with your 'wouldn’t allow it' f***ery," another user waxed poetic.
- "Some folks need to abandon the myth that you can be against homosexuality without being against homosexuals. It's a cowardly cop-out and a failed effort to not seem like the bad guys," another user said. "The entire #LGBTQ community knows the truth: You're the bad guys."