The Tampa Bay Rays were the subject of heavy controversy this weekend.
To honor the LGBTQ community during gay pride week, the Rays were asked to sport a patch on their uniforms. But unfortunately, several different players opted against wearing the patch due to their religious beliefs.
“It’s just what we believe the lifestyle he’s (Jesus) encouraged us to live for our good, not to withhold,” reliever Jason Adam told the Tampa Bay Times. “But we love these men and women, we care about them and we want them to feel safe and welcome here.”
In response, Cardinals pitcher Jack Flaherty called out the players who wouldn’t wear the patch.
“Absolute joke,” Flaherty tweeted.
absolute joke https://t.co/LKzBZU77wf
— Jack Flaherty (@Jack9Flaherty) June 6, 2022
Former MLB star Adam Jones also called out the Rays players.
I love Jesus and also inclusion. Is that ok. Ok. Good night!!
— 10 (@SimplyAJ10) June 6, 2022
While the Rays were catching flak all over the league for their controversial decision, manager Kevin Cash tried to downplay the situation.
“First and foremost, I think the organization has done a really good thing to have Pride Night’s supporting our gay community to come out and have a nice night at the ballpark,” Cash said via NY Post. “Impressed that our players have had those conversions and we want to support our players that choose to wear or choose not to wear to the best of our capabilities.”
While a few Rays players stole headlines, there were some on the team who still wore the patch proudly.
“My parents taught me to love everyone as they are, go live your life, whatever your preferences are, go be you,” outfielder Kevin Kiermaier said. “I can’t speak for everyone who’s in here, obviously, but this is a family-friendly environment here at a big-league ball field … We just want everyone to feel welcomed and included and cheer us on. No matter what your views on anything are.”
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