The Tampa Bay Rays, like many companies, are promoting LGBTQ+ pride during the month of June. Not everyone on the roster wants to do the same, though. Pitchers Jason Adam, Jalen Beeks, Brooks Raley, Jeffrey Springs and Ryan Thompson were among the players who decided to remove the LGBTQ+ pride details from their uniforms.
According to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, Adam called the decision to remove the patch a “faith-based decision” and said that the decision wasn’t a “judgemental” one.
“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.”
The decision from Jason Adam and the rest of the Rays players is a textbook example of homophobia. Adam misinterprets his religion to suggest that belonging to the LGBTQ+ community is a wrongful lifestyle. Choosing not to wear a patch and hat to support a marginalized community that has had to fight for equality — and still does — shows that they are ignorant and have very thin skin.
The Rays also deserve blame for allowing players to opt out of wearing the patches and hats with rainbow-colored logos. They miserably failed in their attempt to showcase themselves as allies. Their staunch stance against gun violence contrasts with their lackluster approach to LGBTQ+ inclusivity.