Openly gay professional baseball player Bryan Ruby slammed several players for the Tampa Bay Rays after they refused to wear LGBTQ decals on specialized caps as part of their uniform.
Ruby called the decision a bad look for baseball, citing it as an example of why many players on Major League Baseball rosters remain in the closet, according to USA Today.
It all started when several pitchers for the Rays, including Jason Adam, Brooks Raley, Jalen Beeks, Ryan Thompson and Jeffrey Springs, said no to wearing hats that featured a multicolored Tampa Bay logo for the franchise’s Pride Night event during a game against the Chicago White Sox on June 4, according to USA Today.
Ruby, sharing his thoughts on the situation, saying, “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,” according to the outlet.
Ruby then 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,” USA Today reported.
Kevin Cash, the manager for the Rays, downplayed the level of division his team was experiencing in the locker room due to the pitchers opting to stand on their faith rather than sport the LGBTQ caps, the outlet noted.
Ruby went on to say that allowing for there to be a lack of unity among players on this issue flies in the face of the team’s inclusive message, the outlet reported.
He also revealed that a major contributing factor in his own decision to come out of as gay during his time playing for the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes was the support he received from of his teammates while he was sporting rainbow-colored shoelaces, according to USA Today.
Ruby insinuated that he would not have had the same level of support if he had been playing for the Rays at the time. (RELATED: Three Graves Found Under Parking Lot Of Tampa Bay Rays Stadium)
“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 said, before revealing that he would be taking off the month of June to further explore other options for hitting the field this summer, according to USA Today.
Ruby then commended the use of Pride Nights, but stated they aren’t sufficient to address the problems he believes take place in the locker room, the outlet noted.