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Rays’ Nick Anderson explains ‘differing beliefs’ after several teammates forgo ‘Pride Night’ logo

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Five members of the Tampa Bay Rays chose not to wear rainbow-colored patches on their uniforms during the team’s Pride Night over the weekend, causing many to publicly criticize their choice. 

The five players cited religious beliefs as to why they chose to remove the logos, and Tampa Rays manager Kevin Cash said that the organization supported each player’s right to wear or not wear the logos.

Nick Anderson #70 of the Tampa Bay Rays throws against the Tampa Bay Rays in the ninth inning of a baseball game at Tropicana Field on September 26, 2021, in St. Petersburg, Florida. 
(Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images)

On Monday, Tampa Bay reliever Nick Anderson posted a message of support for his teammates on social media, saying that everyone is able to have “different beliefs.” 

“It’s astonishing to me how people don’t understand that different beliefs exist,” Anderson posted to Twitter. “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.”

SEVERAL RAYS PLAYERS BREAK FROM ORGANIZATION’S PRIDE NIGHT LOGOS, CITING RELIGIOUS REASONS

Anderson then followed up with a lengthier statement explaining his post. 

A detail of the Tampa Bay Rays pride burst logo celebrating Pride Month during a game against the Chicago White Sox at Tropicana Field on June 04, 2022, in St Petersburg, Florida. 

A detail of the Tampa Bay Rays pride burst logo celebrating Pride Month during a game against the Chicago White Sox at Tropicana Field on June 04, 2022, in St Petersburg, Florida. 
(Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

“When I say differing beliefs, I’m talking about the people who believe everyone would wear something and if you don’t, you should burn and are a terrible person or whatever name you want to call them,” Anderson said in a statement. “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.”

CARDINALS PITCHER JACK FLAHERTY BLASTS RAYS PLAYERS WHO OPTED OUT OF WEARING PRIDE LOGO

“I never once said I thought gay people weren’t born gay,” Anderson continued. “Or that homophobia was right.”

One of the pitchers who chos4e not to wear the patch – Jason Adam – explained the reasoning behind the decision on Saturday. 

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“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,” he said, via the Tampa Bay Times. 

A detail of the Tampa Bay Rays rainbow patterned logo celebrating Pride Month during a game against the Chicago White Sox at Tropicana Field on June 04, 2022, in St Petersburg, Florida. 

A detail of the Tampa Bay Rays rainbow patterned logo celebrating Pride Month during a game against the Chicago White Sox at Tropicana Field on June 04, 2022, in St Petersburg, Florida. 
(Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

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“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. Just like (Jesus) encourages me as a heterosexual male to abstain from sex outside of the confines of marriage. It’s no different.”

Fox News’ Ryan Gaydos contributed to this report

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