Tampa Bay Rays players opt out of Pride-themed jerseys for 'faith-based reasons'

"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."

Roberto Wakerell-Cruz Montreal QC

Players of MLB's Tampa Bay Rays are refusing to wear pride-colored jerseys on account of faith. Jason Adam, Jalen Beeks, Brooks Raley, Jeffrey Springs and Ryan Thompson are those players who have abstained from wearing the Pride logo-emblazoned uniforms.

Five players—all pitchers—have all said that they would not be wearing the team's pride jerseys, which featured multi-colored logos and lettering. The players instead would decide to wear their regular club attire.

Adam said that he would not wear the jerseys for "faith-based reasons."

"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," he said, according to TMZ.

He 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."

Manager Kevin Cash said that the players' decision to ditch the uniforms sparked controversy in the clubhouse, but that other players have remained respectful.

"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 NFL unveiled their latest Pride logo, which now includes the colors of the trans flag and the intersectional queer black and brown community. The NFL also signed their first "transgender female" cheerleader for South Carolina.


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