Athletes have every right to voice their opinions in uniform, as long as the left agrees with those opinions, apparently.

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This editorial is by a United States veteran and staff writer for Law Enforcement Today.

TAMPA BAY, FL – Five members of the Tampa Bay Rays went against the team’s uniform choice in a recent game against the Chicago White Sox.

In honor of Pride month, the Rays donned uniforms that had rainbow logos on the jerseys and the hats. Pitchers Jason Adams, Jalen Beeks, Brooks Raley, Jeffrey Springs and Ryan Thompson opted out, instead wearing their regular hat and removing the multi-colored logo from the sleeve of their jerseys.

Adams, who was selected as the group’s spokesman, said that the decision stemmed for each of them based on their faith as Christians, according to a report from Fox News.

“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 the Tampa Bay Times.

“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 He encourages me as a heterosexual male to abstain from sex outside of the confines of marriage. It’s no different. 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.””

Regardless of why they made the decision, it is one they are getting blasted for that decision.

On a recent episode of Around the Horn, ESPN’s Sarah Spain, in a video that ESPN has since taken down, called the five men bigots.

“[This] is what tends to happen when frivolous class isn’t affected by things,” Spain said. “That religious exemption BS is used in sports and otherwise also allows for people to be denied health care, jobs, apartments, children, prescriptions, all sorts of rights.

We have to stop tiptoeing around it because we’re trying to protect people who are trying to be bigoted from asking for them to be exempt from it, when the very people that they are bigoted against are suffering the consequences you say trying to be bigoted.”

While the words may have come out jumbled and somewhat confusing, what she meant was your religion is irrelevant. It doesn’t matter. Do what we tell you or we will call you a bigot.

Ironically, the Ray’s manager, Kevin Cash, said that the organization supported those players right not to wear the logos.

But St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Jack Flaherty came out in opposition to the move by the Ray’s players.

What is even worse than Flaherty’s response is the first thing on his Twitter bio is a reference to Philippians 4:13. That is a scripture that many know well.

“I can do all things through Christ, who gives me strength.” 

So, Jack can do ALL things through Christ, but these 5 men cannot stand firm in their faith in that same Jesus?

Now, let’s not forget that this same woke crowd said that Colin Kaepernick and many others in the NFL had every right to kneel for the national anthem. It was their right to free speech as protected by the 1st Amendment, according to many.

Yet the 1st Amendment also protects religion, but that doesn’t matter, because they dared to go against the narrative.

When Kaepernick started kneeling, we were constantly told that it wasn’t disrespectful to the flag or our veterans who fought to keep it flying.

Athletes and celebrities made it their mission to let us all know that it had nothing to do with disrespecting the men and women who defend/have defended our country and we were wrong to associate the two things.

But now, if these players don’t wear a Pride logo on their uniforms, it has everything to do with hating the LGBTQ+ community, and you will not change the minds of the woke among us.

Jimmy Failla told Fox’s Harris Faulkner that the left absolutely wants athletes to speak their minds…as long as it fits the narrative.

“I do think this controversy is ridiculous because we just got through a pocket of years of us being told that if athletes have an opinion on the national anthem, we’re supposed to just shut up and let them voice their opinion. But in this instance, they have an opinion on pushing a progressive Pride initiative.

And now we’re being told they shouldn’t have an opinion. The Tampa Bay Rays play in the American League. Is there anything less American than taking away their freedom of expression or their choice not to express? It’s kind of a non-issue because they’re not saying, I hate these people. They’re saying, I just don’t push your agenda.”

Fellow Ray’s pitcher Nick Anderson came to this teammates defense via Twitter.

Ryan Thompson spoke with Tampa’s WFLA News Channel 8. Here is what he told the NBC affiliate.

“If I believe the Bible is infallible and that everlasting life is attainable, yet I bow down to public opinion in the name of tolerance, is that love? I don’t think so. Instead, my view is to love my neighbor from all walks of life.” 

He alluded to the fact that he and the others “spent a couple of weeks in prayer and a deep dive into scripture on the subject at hand to come to the decision we did.”

“The entire organization from top to bottom is completely unified in both our love for the LGBTQ+ community and also our respect for each other’s opinions, views and values, he continued. 

Report: Suspects in slaying of missing Seattle woman cut ankle monitors and skipped bond

This is the second time this month that the Tampa Bay Rays have made news over what some would called virtue signaling. We invite you to

DIG DEEPER

Veteran: Baseball teams go full-blown, anti-gun propaganda attacking 2nd Amendment instead of tweeting about baseball

Author’s note: The following piece is based on my beliefs and opinions and do not necessarily reflect those of Law Enforcement Today. The views expressed in this article are in no way intended the diminish the tragedies we have witnessed in our nation over the past decade, or the hurt and heartbreak being felt by communities and families in Uvalde, Texas, or Buffalo, New York, or any other place where innocent lives have been cut short.

NEW YORK, NY – Baseball has been more than just the national pastime. It was part of a cliche about our country itself.

Describing something patriotic was often done by uttering the words: “that’s as American as baseball and apple pie.”

“The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it’s a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good, and it could be again.”

The previous quote was uttered by the character Terrance Mann, played by James Earl Jones, in the movie Field of Dreams.

Over the past few years, we have seen the powers-that-be turn this once great sport into a left-wing echo chamber. In the most recent edition of How Left Can We Lean, two teams jumped into the fray via Twitter.

The New York Yankees, in a tag-team effort with the Tampa Bay Rays, opted out of using their Twitter account to provide coverage of the game between the two teams. Instead, they used their social media teams to issues a series of tweets about gun violence.

“In lieu of game coverage and in collaboration with the Tampa Bay Rays, we will be using our channels to offer facts about the impacts of gun violence,” the Yankees wrote in their initial tweet. “The devastating events that have taken place in Uvalde, Buffalo and countless other communities across our nation are tragedies that are intolerable.”

More “woke” agendas coming from Major League Baseball.

The Rays doubled down with their statement.

Using statistics from multiple sources, including the Centers for Disease Control and Department of Health and Human Services, the teams started the barrage of tweets by letting their 3.6+ million (Yankees) and 654K (Rays) followers know that more than 110 Americans are killed with guns.

Doing the math, that would tell us that more than 40,000 people died from firearms related injuries. According to the CDC, the actual number for 2020 was 45,222. What the Yankees and Rays social media teams didn’t tell anyone in those tweets was that more than half (54%) of those deaths were suicides. Another 1,146 were accidental shootings or involved officer-involved shootings.

The numbers also do not identify how many of those gun-related homicides were justified by self-defense.

Which leads to the question for the Yankees, Rays and other anti-gun groups. What would those numbers look like if only the criminals had guns (more on that later)?

But that is exactly what anti-gun activists would like to see, an unarmed America trying to figure out how to stop armed criminals amidst defunded or even abolished police forces.

“When an assault weapon is used in a mass shooting, it results in six times as many people shot than when other guns are used.”

For this post, they cited information from the anti-gun group Everytown for Gun Safety.

First, we need to pause and educate the MLB and their teams on the phrase “assault weapon.”

Any weapon used to assault, injure or kill is an “assault weapon.”

But giving them the benefit of the doubt that they are referring to an AR-15 style rifle, their own statistics show that that type of weapon is used less frequently than other firearms, even in mass shootings.

They show that between 2009 and 2022, only 50 of the nearly 300 mass shootings involved the use of an “assault” weapon or high-capacity magazines. That equates to 16%. They also allude to the reality that 81 percent of mass shootings involved a handgun. But all we hear about is “no one needs an Ar-15.”

Even Everytown understands where the real problem lies.

Mass shootings are “most often perpetrated by someone who was legally prohibited from possessing a firearm.”

These are not acted out by the vast majority of responsible, legal gun owners.

These are predominantly acts of violence perpetrated by criminals with the intent on doing harm, or individuals in need of mental health assistance.

There are an estimated 393 million firearms legally owned in the US. The average gun owner has 5 of them, meaning that nearly 80 million Americans own firearms.

There have been 274 mass shootings in the previous 13 years. That means less than .0000035% of gun owners are committing these acts of violence.

Wait, aren’t most mass shootings “perpetrated by someone legally prohibited from possessing a firearm?”

So, that number is reduced to at least .00000175%.

And only 16% of those incidents are committed using an “assault” weapon.

So, according to the statistics detailed by Everytown for Gun Safety, .00000028 of all gun owners are committing these heinous and atrocious acts of violence.

We don’t have a gun problem. We don’t even have an “assault” weapon problem. We have a crime problem. We have a mental health crisis.

Guns are merely a tool being used by individuals seeking to harm and destroy.

To the organizations credit, they both tweeted that nearly 4,400 veterans end their own lives every year by gun, followed by a link to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

As a veteran, who has lost veteran friends to suicide, that is a big deal. Not because of the fact that they use a gun, but because they are suicidal.

The teams, focusing only on the gun-related suicides, failed to mention that between 7,000 and 8,000 veterans take their own lives every year.

Look, the issue if school violence is not lost on me.

I work with school districts every day to help them create the safest environment possible for their staff, faculty and most importantly, students.

I live 70 miles from the campus of Santa Fe High School, where 10 people were tragically murdered.

I live less than three hours away from 6 of the 7 mass-casualty shootings in Texas that Everytown identifies on their website.

The 7th took place in my hometown, where my brother was one of the SWAT team members who assisted in stopping that shooter.

I take these situations personally. And yet, I am still here to tell you that when politicians, actors and even professional sports franchises spend this much time trying to convince the entire country that we need to get rid of guns, they are battling the wrong demons.

Stop letting judges put violent criminals back on the streets on little to no bail. Start addressing mental health concerns for our students and veterans. Quit trying to criminalize legal gun ownership and attacking law-abiding owners.

But nope. to the left, it’s a gun issue.

The research provided by anti-2nd Amendment groups show that we do not have a gun problem. But they will continue to claim that we do.

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