Five Tampa Bay baseball players declined to wear a pride logo designed specifically for the franchise for Saturday night’s game.
The team opted to celebrate their Pride Night Celebration by altering their hat arm and logos to show rainbow colors.
Pitchers Jason Adam, Jalen Beeks, Brooks Raley, Jeffrey Springs, and Ryan Thompson opted not to wear the arm logo and wore the team’s normal hat. Jason Adam was chosen by the staff to issue a statement regarding the pitching team’s choice according to the Tampa Bay Times.
“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 for 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.”
The officials for the Tampa Bay Rays would have preferred the whole team to wear the new logos, but instead had to shift to an “opt-in” system given the pitchers’ decision to opt-out of the pandering scheme.
Questions regarding the cohesion of the team immediately began surfacing. According to manager Kevin Cash, division was not an issue for the team. Cash also stated, “I think what it has created is, like, what you’ve heard — a lot of conversation and valuing the different perspectives inside the clubhouse but really appreciating the community that we’re trying to support here.”
The decision by the pitchers may not have sparked division within the team, but certainly sparked division online between those who support the enforcement of pride and those who support free speech and religion.
Sports teams could use more people like the pitchers to stand up to the intense pandering of the left. Sports organizations are there to play sports after all, not push leftist ideologies onto their fans who are there to enjoy the games.