MLB Players Reject Wearing the Rainbow
(DailyVantage.com) – During Pride Month, many sports teams design special uniforms for their players to wear to show their support for the LGBTQ+ community, including the Tampa Bay Rays MLB team. However, some notable players decided not to wear the event-specific uniforms citing personal reasons.
Tampa Bay’s Pride Night
Every year, the Tampa Bay Rays host a Pride Night to promote inclusivity. This year on Saturday, June 4, the team held its event for the 16th year. Staff handed out rainbow flags, and community members participated in activities before the game. The team also donated $20,000 to Metro Inclusive Health and offered a ticket package for sale that included a special hat.
Additionally, the night included event-specific uniforms for players to wear, and this year was no exception, as it included colorful rainbow logos for their sleeves and caps. The team has also had a rainbow burst on the stadium’s back wall throughout the season.
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) June 4, 2022
Still, the team’s management allowed the players to decide whether they wanted to wear the special uniform or abstain. Five players, all pitchers, chose not to participate.
It Was a “Faith-Based Decision”
Among those who decided not to wear the event-specific design was pitcher Jason Adam, who spoke as a representative for all the players who chose not to participate. According to Adam, his choice not to participate wasn’t because he shuns or looks down on the community, but rather he said, “It comes down to faith… a faith-based decision.” He continued, saying he and the team “love these men and women … and we want them to feel safe and welcome here.”
The team also said there were many discussions about participation during the weeks leading up to the event, but one thing was absent: divisiveness. Nobody pressured other players to participate, and there was no animosity or tension between players or management.
Kevin Kiermaier, a center fielder for the team, had a different perspective on the customized uniform he donned for the evening’s game. He said the team wants “everyone to feel welcomed and included … no matter what your views on anything are.”
Tampa Bay also hosts other events to honor other important members of its community, including law enforcement, military, and racial equality causes.
What do you think about the players’ choices not to participate in pride night?
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