This is from The NY Times:
"By creating special uniforms for Pride Night, the Rays were expressing their beliefs as an organization. As the primary messengers for the franchise, the players should have been expected to reflect that position. If doing so made them uncomfortable, they could have been given the night off."
I actually disagree with this. It would be silly to force anyone to wear the Pride patch if they don’t believe in it. The fact that they conspicuously opted out of wearing it actually creates the chance of furthering the conversation.
There’s nothing heroic about wearing the patch; there’s nothing inherently shameful about not wearing it. It’s a gesture. Adam’s explanation for not wearing it (quoted in the article), however, is maybe a little bit shameful. He spoke in cliches about "faith" without, of course, any substantial elaboration or appeal to scripture.
It’s the old Hegelian point against "private religion" that one doesn’t (or shouldn’t) have the right to "believe" just anything at all. There’s nothing reasonable about Adam’s contention. The point of the Pride symbolism is, I think, to acknowledge the right to exist of an historically (and currently) oppressed group that has often been denied that right. Too often this (the right to queerness) is, like the denial of this right, cast in terms of privacy. But it’s really a matter of publicity. LGBTQ people have a right to exist in public without stigma.
But the solution to this difficulty is not to force compliance or to shame the pitchers for opting out. A reasonable discussion should occur because what’s at the basis of the difficulty is generally, I think, confusion as opposed to maliciousness.