St. Louis Cardinals Pitcher Jack Flaherty on Baseball’s ‘Unwritten Rules’
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The Tampa Bay Rays players’ decision not to wear rainbow logos for the team’s ‘Pride Night’ over the weekend has been called out by St Louis Cardinals pitcher Jack Flaherty.

Rays pitchers Jason Adam, Jalen Beeks, Brooks Raley, Jeffrey Springs and Ryan Thompson of the Rays chose not to wear a logo supporting gay pride on Saturday, claiming it was a “faith-based decision”.

Flaherty clearly wasn’t impressed, replying to a news story on the subject with the words: “Absolute joke.”

It comes after Adam, who acted as a spokesperson for the five players, attempted to explain their decision as coming down to “faith”.

He also said he wanted to make clear that people “know that all are welcome and loved here”.

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Speaking to Tampa Bay Times, he said: “It’s a hard decision, because ultimately we all said what we want is them to know that all are welcome and loved here.

Jack Flaherty was critical of the comments from the Rays' Jason AdamGetty images

“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 behaviour, just like [Jesus] encourages me as a heterosexual male to abstain from sex outside of the confines of marriage. It’s no different.”

He added: “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.”

Other players in the Rays side did choose to wear a rainbow logo on the night.

One of them was Kevin Kiermaier, who told the Times: “My parents taught me to love everyone as they are, go live your life, whatever your preferences are, go be you.

“I can’t speak for everyone who’s in here, obviously, but this is a family-friendly environment here at a big-league ball field … We just want everyone to feel welcomed and included and cheer us on. No matter what your views on anything are.”

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