Was There Any Way For The Tampa Bay Rays To Support “Pride Month” On The Field Ethically? Nope!

The Rays, of baseball’s American League, are one of three teams, the others being the National League San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers, to incorporate Pride Month support in their uniforms. Five Rays decided to decline to wear the patch above: Brooks Raley, Jalen Beeks, Jason Adam, Jeffrey Springs and Ryan Thompson. There have been no such defections from their team’s mandated corporate position on the Giants or Dodgers—you know, California. I am willing to bet my head that there are many more than five players on the three squads who resent having to be a walking political statement, but who have calculated, “Well, it’s just a patch.”

The explanation of the spokesman for the five Rays players was weak , but about what I’d expect from a pro athlete. Jason Adam 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…we love these men and women, we care about them, and we want them to feel safe and welcome here.

Kumbaya, man! Naturally, this did not satisfy the sports media. The New York Times wrote that the abstention of the five players “undercut” the Rays gesture. “[A]llowing the players to opt out of the promotion — and to use the platform to endorse an opposite viewpoint — the Rays undercut the message of inclusion they were trying to send. Words like “lifestyle” and “behavior” are widely known tropes often interpreted as a polite cover for condemning gay culture,” the paper sniffed.

Rays President Matt Silverman said his organization wanted to “share its values” with the patch on the uniforms, but would not force players to comply if they were uncomfortable.

But of course the option itself was a form of coercion.

By having the patch at all, the Rays were putting pressure on all employees to conform to the organization’s position on a politically controversial issue, and I don’t mean civil rights for LGBTQ individuals. Thanks to the hyper-aggressive efforts of activists in the gay and trans community, that emblem, like “Pride Month” itself, now also stands for other more dubious matters, like teaching young children about sexual variety before they know what sex is, allowing the Lia Thomases of the world to turn women’s sports into a joke, or letting pre-pubescent kids get sex-change surgery or hormone treatments because they have decided, or been pressured into deciding, that flipping their gender is what they desire. The ethical breach is the same for the Rays whether their grandstanding is pro- or anti-. It is a wrongful abuse of power and position to make employees publicly promote or reject their employer’s political views, and this issue is political. That’s the case whatever the position is, and however virtuous it might seem or be.

The choice for the players is binary: it’s either “Yes,” which means “We agree!” or “No,” which means “we don’t.” It’s a pity that the five Rays dissenters didn’t have the wit or clarity to say that their refusal to wear the patch has nothing to do with LGTBQ matters or Pride Month, and that their freedom as individuals should not to be coerced into supporting a cause unrelated to their duties to the team and management. Why wouldn’t the next patch be a “Joe Biden” salute, or “Let’s Go Brandon,” or “End Climate Change Now” or “No Human Is Illegal” or “Black Lives Matter”?

I would have refused to wear the emblem. I have also seen what happens when you take such a stand, as I have done in jobs more than once. My all-time least favorite boss ever sent around a sign-up sheet to participate in an event for a charity organization he chaired. I was one of a small group of staff that declined, but the only one who explained why I declined, protesting that my personal time was my own, and that it was inappropriate for someone who had control over my job to use that position to exert pressure on me to support his objectives and interests.

He was a petty, insecure man, and he never forgave me, reacting as I knew he would. I should not have been put in that position, and neither should the Rays players have to look like they are opposing their own team mates.

_______________

Pointer: Steve-O-in NJ

13 thoughts on “Was There Any Way For The Tampa Bay Rays To Support “Pride Month” On The Field Ethically? Nope!

  1. Putting bumper stickers on athletes is a terrible idea for culture. They should be able to express support for their chosen causes on their own terms, of their own initiative. I’m not even sure how patches are supposed to help. “Oh, look! Famous sports teams care, too!” Does that change policy? Shift public opinion? Promote public understanding? Facilitate communication and trust? Demonstrate how we can treat each other with respect? To me it’s just virtue-signaling.

    On a related note, I’m not sure if you’re already aware of the “drag your kids to pride” event in Texas the other day, but… Well, it’s not stupidest stunt imaginable to promote cultural acceptance of gender/sexual/romantic nonconforming people, but I don’t want to imagine anything stupider. The LGBTQ aspect is ethically irrelevant; it would be just as stupid if it were a trip to a strip club, in the hopes of ensuring kids “grow up straight” or some such nonsense. It seems like a terrible idea for a number of reasons to expose children to, well, adults-only environments like that. I’m assuming they didn’t have the choice to leave, either.

    This whole issue with trying to educate young children about LGBTQ issues seems unnecessary. All we need to do is teach children to treat each other ethically and respectfully, and address any questions about same-sex couples or transgender people at an age-appropriate level just like we address questions about pregnancy, et cetera. Then they can get the details during sex education, which is around the time it would actually start to matter to them personally. I don’t see what’s so difficult about this. Is there some aspect of the situation I’m missing?

    • Extradimensional Cephalopod wrote:

      Putting bumper stickers on athletes is a terrible idea for culture. They should be able to express support for their chosen causes on their own terms, of their own initiative.

      Agreed. On their own time. Out of uniform.

      This whole issue with trying to educate young children about LGBTQ issues seems unnecessary. All we need to do is teach children to treat each other ethically and respectfully, and address any questions about same-sex couples or transgender people at an age-appropriate level just like we address questions about pregnancy, et cetera.

      And that is always going to be insufficient because it lacks an emphatic statement, signed in blood, that you really, really, really care about all these poor marginalized people and swear fealty to placing them above ordinary white folks.

      Until we somehow stamp out the idea that “silence is violence” is anything other than an oxymoron, we will be faced with this crazy attitude.

    • I just went through a sexual assault training session to work at a camp this summer. A lot of time was spent on spotting grooming behavior. It was stated that the goal of the groomers was sexual contact or sexual conversations with children. Groomers get personal satisfaction from sexual conversations, displays of nudity, and sexual contact with children. Some groomers focus only on the first one or two and never engage in sexual contact with children. So, what are the signs of grooming behavior?
      Groomer v. children
      (1) ‘boundary pushing behavior’ They want to push the boundary of what is acceptable towards discussion of sex, towards nudity, and sexual contact.
      (2) Inappropriate discussions of a sexual nature. They want to initiate and steer discussions toward sexual themes. These discussions will be inappropriate for the child’s age or be on inappropriate topics.
      (3) ‘Accidental’ nudity. They will set up situations where they can ‘accidentally’ see the child in a state of undress or the child can see them in a state of undress.
      (4) The groomer will gravitate or promote activities that involve changing clothes.
      (5) Secret keeping. The groomer will begin engaging in activities with children and will encourage the children to keep it secret. This will start small and escalate.
      (6) ‘Rule-breaking activities’. The groomer will encourage the children to break rules (drink alcohol, do drugs, watch porn, watch movies or play video games their parents don’t allow).
      (7) They focus attention on children who are social outcasts. Students who are awkward, different, or having personal troubles are the weak members of the herd and the target of groomers.
      (8) They will lavish attention on vulnerable children, tell them that they are ‘special’, and give them special attention, gifts, etc.

      To make their work successful, groomers also groom the gatekeepers. This makes it difficult for the victims to report abuse.

      Groomer v. gatekeepers
      (1) The groomer will try to appear helpful, caring, and trustworthy.
      (2) They will be eager and volunteer readily. They also will appear to show the utmost concern for the well-being of the children.
      This makes the groomer difficulty to suspect and confront.
      (3) Groomers will gravitate to professions that bring them into constant contact with their preferred age group.

      How much of this seems to fit the transgender approach in the schools? They insist on talking about gender identity and sex in kindergarten and early elementary school, they have ‘changing closets’ in their classrooms for the kids to change clothes in the room where the teacher can ‘accidentally’ see them while checking on them. They tell the kids to hide what happens at school from the parents. They focus on children who ‘don’t fit in’ and give such children special privileges and attention. They couch all this in terms of being sensitive and caring towards the children. Therapists used to treat young children asking questions about sex and sex-identity as symptoms of abuse, but now it is institutionalized in the system and considered necessary and perhaps mandatory.

      After taking this training course, the insistent ‘need’ to ‘educate’ young children on LGBTQ matters looks very sinister indeed.

      • Well that’s terrifying. How can we address this issue? I’m thinking greater transparency for all organized activities involving children would be a good start. We may also want to figure out how to draw clear and comprehensive boundaries that everyone can be aware of, so that children know when something’s wrong and potential groomers can’t deceive themselves into thinking that something’s acceptable. (For all I know, those boundaries are already codified somewhere. I’ve never desired to approach them, so I’ve never had to learn where they were.) I’m not sure yet how to weed out the sociopathic ones, who don’t have a sense of guilt or shame.

  2. “This whole issue with trying to educate young children about LGBTQ issues seems unnecessary. All we need to do is teach children to treat each other ethically and respectfully. . . ”

    I agree wholeheartedly with that.

    The problem is that some groups are to be excluded and shunned like the fat, the unattractive, Trump supporters, those that disagree with me etc. By delineating which are the good groups that are to be included you avoid the problem of including everyone because everyone is not worthy of inclusion in progressive world.

    I have no use for those that preach inclusion but systematically use every avenue available to them to destroy their opposition both socially and economically.

  3. What is not forbidden is mandatory.

    What is not mandatory is forbidden.

    Sadly, the world is too easily stuck in this bi-conditional.

    -Jut

  4. I wouldn’t have been so annoyed, however, I remember that back in the days following 9/11 some of the NFL teams wanted to display patriotic symbols on their helmets. I think there was a fair amount of display in Major League sports right after 9/11, but as we started to get into the next couple of years, the leagues clamped down on it. In fact, one football team, I believe it was the Dallas cowboys, had players threatened with fines if they should display any such symbols or stickers.

    Nowadays, not only does the league not do a damn thing to stop every playing of the national anthem from turning into a black lives matter commercial, but they plaster social justice slogans all over everything including the athletes. Apparently support for causes only goes one way, however. I’m sure in October you could be ordered to don pink for breast cancer, and maybe later this month you’ll see some players with the black green and red US flag of Juneteenth, but any cause that might be considered unwoke? Forget it.

  5. “It’s a pity that the five Rays dissenters didn’t have the wit or clarity to say that their refusal to wear the patch has nothing to do with LGTBQ matters or Pride Month [….]” Isn’t it sufficient these guys can hit major league pitching? Could even Ron Darling have done any better? These guys are ballplayers. And they may simply be Christians.

  6. This is getting ridiculous. My father in law watched the US v. Uruguay friendly World Cup 2022 match. Nice US outfits, right down to players’ numbers in the rainbow flag. Now, that was coerciv – your rainbow number or nothing in your jersey. Tall about personal choice. Then, in the Mexico v. Ecuador match, play was suspended for 5 minutes because of a racially charged insult was hurled at someone by someone else. Apparently FIFA has a rule.
    Who did it? No idea. Against whom? Still, clueless.

    jvb

  7. Oh, and lots of people are hacked off because prepubescent boys were taken to Hooters after a regional baseball game but having drag queens strip fir young children is just fine.

    jvb

  8. Jack wrote:

    The choice for the players is binary: it’s either “Yes,” which means “We agree!” or “No,” which means “we don’t.”

    Or put perhaps a more pointed way, the choice was “Yes, we support virtue-signaling by our team in political matters, and we wuv LGBTQIAZ&^+/-” or “No, we’re irredeemable bigots what hate all queers.”

    You can have your freedom, just as long as “we” get to tell you what that looks like.

    Why wouldn’t the next patch be a “Joe Biden” salute, or “Let’s Go Brandon,” or “End Climate Change Now” or “No Human Is Illegal” or “Black Lives Matter”?

    Shhh. “Pride” stuff is more than enough for me, don’t give them any ideas.

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