Rays manager addresses players opting out of wearing Pride Night logo
By Chelena Goldman, with YardBarker.com/www.yardbarker.com
Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash addressed the media on Sunday night after several players opted out of wearing an LGBTQ+ patch on their jerseys for the team’s Pride Night, saying the decision by those players hasn’t caused any kind of rift in the clubhouse.
“First and foremost, I think the organization has done a really good thing to have Pride Nights supporting our gay community to come out and have a nice night at the ballpark,” Cash said, via ESPN. “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.”
Pitchers Jason Adam, Jalen Beeks, Brooks Raley, Jeffrey Springs, and Ryan Thompson were among the players who chose not to wear the celebratory patch or specialty ballcap for the team’s June 4 game against the Chicago White Sox.
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) June 4, 2022
In speaking to the Tampa Bay Times, Adam said the group’s decision to opt out was a “faith-based choice.”
“So it’s a hard decision,” Adam said. “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.”
Adam went on to insist it was not a “judgment call” and that all fans should feel welcome at the ballpark.
Fans in attendance at Saturday’s Pride Night game were given rainbow flags upon entering the ballpark. ESPN said attendance for that game was 19,452, surpassing the season average of 16,868.