Christians who play for the Tampa Bay Rays took a stand for their faith in Christ and biblical truth this past weekend by declining to wear the rainbow "Pride" colors that have come to represent the LGBTQ+ movement.
Recognizing personal choice, the owner of the Rays gave the players an "opt-in" option for the team's annual Pride Night rather than mandate it without respect for religious freedom and freedom of expression.
While most of the other Rays players chose to wear Pride logos on their caps and uniform sleeves, Rays players Jason Adam, Jalen Beeks, Brooks Raley, Jeffrey Springs and Ryan Thompson were among the players who opted out of wearing the rainbow logos, citing religious reasons, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Adam made a statement on behalf of the players: "A lot of it comes down to faith, to like a faith-based decision. 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 via the Tampa Bay Times.
"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."
He continues, "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."
Clay Travis, OutKick founder and co-host of The Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show, a nationally syndicated radio program, defended the Christian ballplayers with a tweet: "Regardless of your personal beliefs, refusing to wear these uniforms—and being willing to take the inevitable sports media crushing they will get—is far braver than meekly acquiescing."
Regardless of your personal beliefs, refusing to wear these uniforms—and being willing to take the inevitable sports media crushing they will get—is far braver than meekly acquiescing. https://t.co/1pQocF22On—Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) June 5, 2022
Nick Adams, the president of the Foundation for Liberty and American Greatness (FLAG), tweeted, "I stand with these players and their right to free speech!"
Tampa Bay Rays Pitchers Jason Adam, Jalen Beeks, Brooks Raley, Jeffrey Springs, and Ryan Thompson all took a stand.—Nick Adams (@NickAdamsinUSA) June 5, 2022
During their Pride Night celebration, they ditched the jerseys featuring rainbows, citing their faith.
I stand with these players and their right to free speech!
If everybody is to be "included," then Christians need to be included too, without violating conscience or the Bible. These baseball players used wisdom in how to gingerly manage the situation. They defy the false narrative that anyone who doesn't comply with the LGBTQ+ demands is full of "hate." These players demonstrated respect, courage and love in their freedom of expression, while being true to their own hearts in the presence of God.
Anthony Hart is a freelance writer for Charisma.
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