An openly gay minor league baseball player is speaking out against members of the Tampa Bay Rays who refused to wear LGBTQ colors on their uniforms in honor of Pride month.
Bryan Ruby explains why he is outraged that a few Tampa Bay Rays players have refused to wear a rainbow patch of the Rays’ logo on their sleeves or hats in an interview with USA TODAY Sports.
“A lot of guys just don’t get that they’ve always had, and will continue to have, gay teammates. Such antiquated language and behavior actively hurts the team. It’s hard enough to be gay in baseball,” Ruby said.
Jason Adam, Jalen Beeks, Brooks Raley, Jeffrey Springs, and Ray Thompson are among the five Tampa Bay pitchers who have refused to wear the one-time outfits citing the reasoning as a “faith-based decision.”
“It sends a very clear message, and that message is: LGBTQ people are not welcome here,” Ruby tells USA TODAY Sports in the interview.
25-year-old Ruby came out while playing independent ball in Oregon last year and is presently pursuing a music career. He is currently taking the month of June off from playing ball but normally plays in the minor leagues.
The player’s refusal to wear the Pride Night patches, according to Ruby, is a “poor look” for baseball and an illustration of why many MLB players are still secretive.
Here’s what Ruby said:
“I can’t help but notice that for the 146th consecutive year, there are zero openly gay players in Major League Baseball. And when your own teammates could publicly gesture that you don’t belong there, it’s damn near impossible to succeed in the sport.”
Ruby, who created the Proud to Be in Baseball activist group and serves as a “community advisor” for a group trying to bring an MLB team to Nashville, believes the pitchers’ decision sends a message that individuals like him are not welcome in baseball.
“‘It always baffles me when guys use Jesus as their excuse to discriminate. This isn’t about religion. This is about being a good teammate. When guys go out of their way to make a point of opposing Pride Night, they’re sending a clear message that people like me just aren’t welcome in baseball.”
“It’s a reminder that even on the one night we get to be proud of ourselves at the ballpark, we are still second-class citizens. It’s as simple as that,” he added.
Adam, a reliever who spoke on behalf of the group. He also highlighted that their decision was not the result of anti-gay discrimination, saying,
“A lot of it comes down to faith, to like a faith-based decision, All are welcome and loved here.”
After last weekend’s game, Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash stated, “We want to support our players who choose to wear or choose not to wear to the best of our abilities.”
31-year-old Anderson tweeted in support of his colleagues on Monday, saying that everyone should be free to hold different beliefs.
“It’s astonishing to me how people don’t understand that different beliefs exist,” Anderson blasted critics.
“And because you have different beliefs, in no way, shape, or form does that mean you look down on that individual or think they are lesser, You can love everyone and have differing beliefs,” he added.
“When I say differing beliefs, I’m talking about the people who believe everyone should wear something and if you don’t, you should burn and are a terrible person or whatever name you want to call them,” the
“I also was saying that just because you don’t wear maybe a said ‘patch’ doesn’t mean you think those people should burn and are terrible people. Come on everyone.”
“I never once said I thought gay people weren’t born gay.” He continues.
“Or that homophobia was right. So to all of you who are trying to find any little thing to twist and make someone look bad for saying something that they never said, whatever you got going on in your life making you this way, just know that it will all be okay! Much love.”
— Nick Anderson (@ando24_nick) June 7, 2022