Tampa Players Explain Decision to Skip LGBTQ Logos

It's 'faith-based,' not 'judgmental,' says pitcher Jason Adam
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 6, 2022 3:12 PM CDT
Some Tampa Players Opt Out of LGBTQ Logos
Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Brooks Raley opted to skip the LGBTQ logos.   (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

The Tampa Bay Rays celebrated Pride Night during Saturday's home game, and the team added rainbow-theme logos to their uniforms for the day (see them here). The Rays, however, also gave players the option to wear them or not, a decision that has brought attention upon the several who opted out. The Tampa Bay Times lists Jason Adam, Jalen Beeks, Brooks Raley, Jeffrey Springs, and Ryan Thompson as among those who chose to go without the logos, and pitcher Adam spoke for the group afterward by describing it as a "faith-based decision" and "not judgmental" against those in the LGBTQ community.

  • "So it’s a hard decision," he 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."

After the game, manager Kevin Cash sought to downplay the decision and said it would not cause any ill will within the team, reports ESPN. He said he was "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." ESPN adds some context, noting that Florida has been making LGBTQ-related headlines of late thanks to what detractors call the "don't say gay" law for schools. (Read more Tampa Bay Rays stories.)

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