A number of Major League Baseball’s Tampa Bay Rays players choose not to participate in the team’s support of Pride Night this weekend, citing their faith in Jesus.
The Rays decided to add a rainbow logo in support of LGBTQ+ and also added a rainbow sunburst to its sleeve. While many players did participate in wearing the altered Rays logo and uniforms, a handful of players including pitcher Jason Adam decided not to participate, saying they welcome and love all people, but when asked to wear something in support of a lifestyle they don’t participate in, and that contradicts the Bible, that was going too far. The Tampa Bay Times reports,
“A lot of it comes down to faith, to like a faith-based decision,” shared pitcher Jason Adam who represented the group of players who chose not to participate. Adam explained that all are loved and valued, but changing logos and wearing rainbows is going too far.
“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,” Adam continued.
Loving all people is important, as Jesus commanded, but openly approving lifestyle decisions that contradict the Bible is going too far.
“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…
Adam shared that just as Jesus prohibits marriage outside the covenant of marriage, it’s the same with others.
“Just like (Jesus) encourages me as a heterosexual male to abstain from sex outside of the confines of marriage. It’s no different.”
Adam’s continued, “It’s not judgemental. 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. who’s encouraged us to live a lifestyle that would abstain from that behavior.”
Adams said not participating in same-sex relationships is no different from abstaining from sex outside of a heterosexual marriage covenantal relationship.
For those players who choose not to participate, they made sure to express their love for all people. Adams and others made it clear that all are loved and welcomed, players are just trying to live the life they believe God wants them to live according to what the Bible teaches.
Rays officials felt it was important to give players and staff the choice of participating or not, respecting the different beliefs and views of all sides.
Overall participation was over 50% according to the team. Pitchers Jason Adam, Jalen Beeks, Brooks Raley, Jeffrey Springs and Ryan Thompson were included with those who decided to live out their convictions.