Rays Players reduce the night of pride by not wearing the Rainbow logo

Something was missing from the top of the Eighth Inning on Saturday, on the Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. Tampa Bay Flight used two embossed pitchers in this inn – leftists Brooks Rely and Jelen Beaks – who wore T-shirts without a patch. Their right sleeve.

This was not the fault of the manufacturer or the equipment manager. The patch was an emblem of a Rays star depicted in rainbow colors, such as the “TB” logo on the team’s headboard as part of the team’s Pride Night rally. Reilly, Bicks, and several other teammates chose to wear hats and T-shirts without rainbow accents.

Credit Rays for Attempts. They are one of three teams, along with the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers, to wear the symbol of Pride Night on their uniforms. But as long as the Giants and Dodgers were fully involved, they had no rays.

The Tampa Bay Times listed five players – the other three, pitchers Jason Adam, Jeffrey Springs and Ryan Thompson, who did not play in the Rays’ 3-2 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Saturday – including those who did not wear rainbow marks. The team chose Adam, a 30-year-old right-winger, to explain the players’ decision.

“A lot of it depends on faith, on approving a decision based on faith,” he said. So this is a difficult decision. Because in the end we all said what we want them to know is that everyone is welcome and loved here. But when we put it on the body, I think a lot of guys have decided that this is just a lifestyle that might – not that they look down on someone or think differently – just, we do not want to be encouraged if we believe. In Jesus, who calls us to live a life that refrains from such behavior. ”

Adam added, “We love these men and women, we care about them, and we want them to feel safe and welcome here.”

In an interview Sunday, Rays president Matt Silverman said the issue has sparked dialogue about valuing different perspectives at the team club.

“I’m proud that we did it and many of our players chose to wear the logo,” Silverman said. “I’m also proud of the conversations we had before and after tonight. That’s the decent thing to do, and it should end there. “

As a low-paying team that opposes the convention, the Rays prioritize club harmony; Without acquisition by players, their non-ordinary strategies on the pitch may not work. The organization wanted to share its values ​​with the uniforms, Silverman said, but did not force players to obey if they were uncomfortable.

Still, players were allowed to refuse the action – and use the platform to prove the opposite view – the beams shattered the trigger message they were trying to send. Words such as “lifestyle” and “behavior” are widely used tropics, often interpreted as a polite cover for condemning gay culture.

The Rays held the rally after the Dodgers honored the memory of Glenn Burke, the team’s former outfield player, who was the first major league to come out as gay on the team’s LGBTQ + Pride Night in Los Angeles. The resistance of some players in St. Petersburg – despite the best intentions of the beams – showed how far the movement had to go.

“When people use the interpretation of religion to justify discrimination against people from birth, it’s really a charge against them and their faith,” said author Andrew Maranis, who wrote a biography of Burke, who died in 1995. “Featured” published last year. “You recognize that people are people and all fans are welcome, this is not something you should be able to refuse.”

Players have some freedom with style on the pitch – the length of their pants, the angle of their hats, the colors of the armrests, and so on. But players are rarely allowed to choose which hat and shirt to wear.

In 2016, when Chris Salem, then White White Sox pitcher, refused to play in the retro uniform the team was planning to launch – he said it was uncomfortable – he took the scissors off his shirt and tore it. The White Sox suspended him for five games for disobedience and destruction of team equipment.

“While we all appreciate Chris’s talent and passion,” White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said in a statement.

While the situations are not similar, the last part of Han’s statement seems to sound like this here. By creating special forms for the Night of Pride, the rays expressed their belief as an organization. As the main messengers of the franchise, the players have to reflect on this position. If this caused them discomfort, they could rest.

This should not be overshadowed by the exciting social experience of the flight, which marked the Night of Pride for 16 years. In 2015, the Rays was one of three sports organizations – along with the Giants and the NFL New England Patriots – to sign a friendly briefing filed in the Supreme Court in support of same-sex marriage. In 2016, after a mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Florida, Orlando, the organization reduced ticket prices for Pride Night and raised $ 300,000 for the Sacrifice Fund.

Last month, the Rays joined the Yankees in focusing their social media channels for one game entirely on facts about gun violence in the United States and not any information about the game. Florida Gov. Ron Desantis had already planned to veto $ 35 million in state funding to help Rays build a new training center, but used the opportunity to leave the team.

“Companies are free to engage or not engage in any discourse they want, but it is clearly inappropriate to pay taxes for professional stadiums,” Desantis told a news conference last Friday. “It is also inappropriate to subsidize the political activism of a private corporation.”

All of this can be tiring for fans who prefer to do sports without politics, however an event like Pride Night should be a separate one. It should be a collective display of unity, without judgment, although some players were allowed to send a different message.

In any case – if you believe in such things – karma got the last word on Saturday. Those released in standard form immediately conceded a two-run advantage, thus defeating the hosts.

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