Several Tampa Bay Ray Baseball Players Opt-Out Of Wearing “Pride Night” Uniform Due To Religious Beliefs 

Several Tampa Bay Ray Baseball Players Opt-Out Of Wearing “Pride Night” Uniform Due To Religious Beliefs 

It seems like not all professional athletes are up to show support for the LGBTQ+ community during pride month.

It’s not uncommon for many Major League Baseball teams to show recognition to the LGBTQ+ community for the month of June, pride month. On Saturday (June 4) during their game with the White Sox, Tampa Bay Ray held their 16th annual “Pride Night.” The team seemingly kept their acknowledgment a little more relaxed than the Minnesota Twins and Toronto Blue Jays who allowed drag queens to participate in their celebrations. Instead, the Tampa Bay Ray had their players wear rainbow logos on their caps and their sleeves during the game. However, due to religious reasons, a few players decided not to wear the pride uniforms.

Pitchers Jason Adam, Jalen Beeks, Brooks Raley, Jeffrey Springs, Ryan Thompson were the players that decided to opt out of wearing the Pride uniforms.

Jason Adam’s explained why he and his teammates decided not to wear the uniforms in honor of pride month:

“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.”

Jason Adam’s continued:

“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.”

The Tampa Bay Ray organization gave players the option of wearing the uniforms but also asked that they fully participated.  

Kevin Cash, Tampa Bay Ray’s manager, made a statement to the Associated Press on behalf of the organization:

“First and foremost, I think the organization has done a really good thing to have Pride Night’s supporting our gay community to come out and have a nice night at the ballpark,” Cash said. “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.”

What are your thoughts on the Tampa Bay Players’ decision? Tell me below. 


Authored by: Tsai-Ann Hill