Minor League ball player Bryan Ruby blasted the Tampa Bay Rays for allowing several players to refuse to wear the team’s gay pride patch last weekend.
In comments to USA Today on Monday, Ruby, who is not playing this season, told the paper that it is a “bad look” for the Rays to allow several players to opt-out of wearing the patch.
On Saturday, Rays players, including pitchers Jason Adam, Jalen Beeks, Brooks Raley, Jeffrey Springs, and Ryan Thompson, opted not to wear the team’s pride-colored patch on the grounds of religious objections.
But Ruby claims that the Rays’ decision to allow the opt-out makes gay people feel like “second-class citizens,” and he accused the Christian players of using Jesus to excuse their homophobia.
Patch worn by Rays players on Pride Night 2022 (Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
“It always baffles me when guys use Jesus as their excuse to discriminate,” Ruby said. “Like, wasn’t Jesus the guy who preached ‘Love Thy Neighbor.'”
“This isn’t about religion,” Ruby continued. “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.”
Ruby continued his attack by saying that the players’ refusal to wear the pride patch sends a very clear message, and that message is: LGBTQ people are not welcome here.
“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 exclaimed.
The minor leaguer then went on to attack baseball as a whole.
“I can’t help but notice that for the 146th consecutive year, there are zero openly gay players in Major League Baseball,” he said pointedly. “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 also took a swing at the Rays management.
“I wonder if Rays management would parrot their completely bogus message of supporting ‘diversity and inclusivity’ in the organization if Rays players flat out refused to wear number 42 on Jackie Robinson Day,” Ruby accused. “Don’t get me wrong, Pride Nights are great for the fan base and surrounding community, but they do very little to address the situation in the locker room.”
“When your teammates go out of their way to indicate they don’t accept you, it can be absolutely crushing, and obviously pretty damn hard to suit up and play well,” Ruby said.
Just people showing their #Pride pic.twitter.com/jtdgHJSLOO
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) June 4, 2022
“What does it say to all the young minor leaguers dreaming of one day getting a shot in the big leagues?” he said in conclusion. “That once you get there, you can live your dream but only at the cost of hiding your authentic self from the world? It’s both sad and infuriating to know most other guys like me are relegated to walking on eggshells in the shadows of a culture still eerily reminiscent of the ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ world we supposedly moved on from over a decade ago.”
Having special games, dedicated uniform accessories, and entire months to celebrate the gay lifestyle is not enough for gays to stop feeling like “second-class citizens” in Ruby’s reckoning.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at: facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston, or Truth Social @WarnerToddHuston
Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.