During the Tampa Bay Rays 16th annual Pride Night on June 4, several Rays players declined to wear rainbow-colored caps and decals intended to celebrate the LGBTQ community. Rays pitcher Jason Adam said those who opted-out did so based on their Biblical beliefs.
“I think a lot of guys decided that it’s just a lifestyle … that maybe we don’t want to encourage … if we believe in Jesus,” he said.
Adam stressed that he doesn’t look down on people who identify as LGBTQ.
“We love these men and women, we care about them, and we want them to feel safe and welcome here,” he said.
But as Christians, Adam and his fellow pitchers Jalen Beeks, Brooks Raley, Jeffrey Springs and Ryan Thompson felt convicted to not advocate for homosexual behavior.
“[Christ] encouraged us live a lifestyle that would abstain from that behavior,” Adam explained, “just like [Jesus] encourages me as a heterosexual male to abstain from sex outside of the confines of marriage. It’s no different.”
In a statement to local news outlet WFLA, Ryan Thompson shared that he and his four teammates “spent a couple of weeks in prayer and [did] a deep dive into Scripture on the subject at hand” before coming to the decision that they did.
Thompson also insisted that “the entire organization from top to bottom is completely unified in both our love for the LGBTQ+ community and also our respect for each other’s opinions, views and values.”
While the players received a lot of flak from left-leaning media outlets, Franklin Graham applauded their boldness.
“I appreciate these Tampa Bay Rays players who said no to endorsing and celebrating sin during Saturday night’s game,” he posted on Facebook. “… Followers of Jesus Christ must love everyone, but also stand with the truth of God’s Word and share that truth with a lost and dying world.”
Photo: Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire/Newscom