Does pride goeth before a fall? We shall see in time, I suppose. But one thing is certain: pride goeth before a ball. A baseball that is. Courtesy of the Tampa Bay Rays, among other teams.
The franchise recently decided to engage in a little shameless virtue signaling by literally wearing their support for the LGBTQIIA+ Community on their sleeves. The players jersey sleeves to be precise. Following the lead of the San Francisco Giants, the team added rainbow-colored logos to their Pride Night uniforms, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Moreover, during Saturday’s Pride Night, the Rays included members of the LGBTQ community in pregame events, gave mini Pride flags to attendees, and made a $20,000 donation to Metro Inclusive Health, which provides diverse health and Wellness services to the community.
Rays’ president Matt Silverman stated, “Our Pride Nights continue to grow both in terms of visibility and participation. By doing this, we extend an invitation not just for this game but for all of our games that the LGBTQ+ community is invited, welcomed, and celebrated.” Apparently, heterosexual Christians need not apply, so to speak.
However, not every Rays’ player was eager to be used in this manner. The Times reported that at least five members of the squad removed the rainbow burst logos from their jersey sleeves and donned the team’s standard cap instead of the Pride cap sporting a rainbow-colored “TB” on the front.
Pitcher Jason Adams was one of the players who eschewed the special Pride! Night garb, citing religious reasons. The non-conforming players’ decisions didn’t sit well with Leftists on social media—or elsewhere. Many blasted the players for exercising their free will in declining to wear the rainbow colors on their uniforms for the team's game Saturday, May 4th, against the visiting Chicago White Sox.
Rays’ officials selected Adams to speak for the group who decided not to wear the Pride! regalia. He said: “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. 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. 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.”
What a monster, right?
Cyd Zeigler, “a commentator and author in the field of sexuality and sports” according to Wikipedia, was not assuaged. He tweeted, "Will someone please show me the Bible passage that says 'Thou shalt not wear a rainbow on thou's clothing?’” Good one, Cyd. Will someone please show me the Bible passage that says “Thou must wear a rainbow on thou’s clothing?” Or “Thou shalt not wear a MAGA hat?”
Zeigler, who co-founded the National Gay Flag Football League and had a featured part in the 2015 documentary F(l)ag Football, also wrote, “Players don't get to just choose what uniform they wear. That's the point of the word 'uniform.' Welcome to sports." Well, actually they do in part. The majority of NBA and NFL players in the past two years have adorned their jerseys and helmets, respectively, with such cogent social justice messages as “I Can’t Breathe” and “End Racism.”
Other tyrannical “progressives” and Twitter twerps purported to be equally aghast that the players didn’t automatically do as instructed.
To wit (or nitwit in this case) one tweeted: "Hey @RaysBaseball, why did you allow homophobic players to express their homophobia on Pride Night?" Um, Einstein, they didn’t opt to express “their homophobia.” They simply declined to be forced to express unreserved approval of homophilia.
Another tweeted, "All day I thought those Tampa Bay Rays hats were dope without knowing it was for LGBTQ pride. Those dudes who refused to wear them are lame losers. 'Faith' my ass." This dope probably smokes a lot of it if he didn’t know the rainbow-colored hats were in honor of Pride! Night/Month. “’Faith’ my ass?”
And another colorfully exclaimed: "If your religious beliefs don’t allow you to wear a damn pride number on your jersey, [d]on’t give your fake performative bulls**t of 'we accept everyone.' [S]o Tampa Bay Rays please get f***ed with your 'wouldn’t allow it' f***ery.” Huh? Your religious beliefs won’t allow players to not wear Pride! paraphernalia. So don’t try to foist your fake performative bulls**t of ‘we accept everyone’ or tolerate everyone on us.
Yet another unjudgementally noted: "Some folks need to abandon the myth that you can be against homosexuality without being against homosexuals. It's a cowardly cop-out and a failed effort to not seem like the bad guys. The entire #LGBTQ community knows the truth: You're the bad guys." Wow.
You can be against the sin without hating the sinner. It’s an old concept, in fact. One that these folks would likely be unfamiliar with, as they all appear to despise Christianity.
Who are the bigots here? Who are the authoritarians, the dominant ones? Who is intolerant, unbending, and non-inclusive?
When will women’s sports teams be required to wear patches, hats, and sayings touting “Masculine Pride?” When will the NBA, NFL or Major League Baseball host a “Hetero Pride! Night?”
Would the hyper-inclusive genius that wrote, “Hey @RaysBaseball, why did you allow homophobic players to express their homophobia on Pride Night?" have said something similar and consistent if players declined to obey their organization’s instructions to sport patches and hats in support of Jews, Republicans, firearm owners, or Evangelical Christians? What do you think?