Franklin Graham Voices Support For Tampa Bay Rays Players Who Refused To Wear ‘Pride Night’ Logos ‘Celebrating Sin’
The Tampa Bay Rays wanted its players to wear “pride night” logos on Saturday, but several teammates refused to do so citing religious reasons.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, “most, but not all” players ended up sporting the logos on their sleeves and hats. The outlet, however, declared this move to be in opposition to showing “LGBTQ+ support.”
The names of the players that refused to participate were Jason Adam, Jalen Beeks, Brooks Raley, Jeffrey Springs, and Ryan Thompson. All five pitchers.
Five Tampa Bay Rays players refused to wear pride flags on their uniforms citing their religious beliefs. https://t.co/1pQocF22On
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) June 6, 2022
Adam, who was chosen by team officials to speak on behalf of the five players, said “a lot of it comes down to faith, to like a faith-based decision.”
“So it’s a hard decision,” he continued. “Because ultimately we all said what we want is them to know that all are welcome and loved here. 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.”
Adam then went on to clarify that his decision, along with the four other teammates, was “not judgmental,” and it was not an act of “looking down.” He then added, “we love these men and women, we care about them, and we want them to feel safe and welcome here.”
Despite this clearly rational, and well thought out decision, the five men were smeared on national news for not going along with the Tampa Bay Ray’s “pride night.”
Some Tampa Bay Rays players rejected wearing LGBTQ Pride Night patches.
For some reason, the left thinks they can use professional athletes as propaganda spewing billboards.
Proud of every player that told them to go kick rocks!
— Breanna Morello (@BreannaMorello) June 6, 2022
Since then, evangelical leader Franklin Graham has spoken out in support of the five men in a Facebook post on Monday.
“I appreciate these Tampa Bay Rays players who said no to endorsing and celebrating sin during Saturday night’s game. They declined to wear the team’s special multi-colored caps and uniform sleeve decal,” Graham wrote.
“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,” he added.
It’s worth noting that Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis is likely paying attention to how the Tampa Bay Rays react to this controversy.
Just last week, OutKick reported the sunshine state Gov. “plans to veto a $35 million legislation for a Pasco County facility that’s earmarked for the Tampa Bay Rays’ spring training.”
“DeSantis’s decision is in response to the Rays politicizing recent shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde ahead of a matchup with the Yankees in May,” the outlet continued.