According to a report by Tampa Bay Times reporter Marc Topkin, each team has the latitude to express pride awareness in their own way. For The Tampa Bay Rays, that expression was determined to be some color modifications of the team's logos. Team officials told Tpkin that they decided to show their awareness by placing the newly reformatted rainbow-striped logos on their hats and jerseys for certain games this month and that this weekend's series against the Chicago White Sox were chosen to be a couple of those games. However, not all of the team's players were in agreement with the on-field expression.
This Saturday, five Rays players; Jason Adam, Jalen Beeks, Brooks Raley, Jeffrey Springs, and Ryan Thompson decided they would not be wearing the pride-theme modified on-field apparel. They still played, but each had noticeably removed all of the rainbow-striped logos from their hats and uniforms.
No, this wasn’t done out of any kind of homophobic protest, but for “personal religious reasons“ according to Ray's pitcher Jason Adam. Adam was chosen by his teammates to be the spokesman designated to explain the situation on behalf of the players who determined not to participate in the public acknowledgment. He explained that the decision was completely "faith-bassed" and "non-judgemental."
"So, it's a hard decision," Adam went on to say. "Because ultimately we all said what we want is them to know that all are welcome and loved here," according to The Tampa Bay Times' reporter Marc Topkin. "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 n different."
As far as the team's management is concerned in all of this, according to Topkin, they gave each player the option to wear the modified uniforms or not, though the representative for the team did tell reporter Topkin that they would have preferred full participation.
Kurt Dillon reporting - Because the Truth Matters!