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Closer Liam Hendriks is the ‘voice’ of the Chicago White Sox for their Thursday Pride Night celebration – The Denver Post

The Chicago White Sox host their annual Pride Night Thursday for the opener of a four-game series against the Baltimore Orioles.

Sox closest Liam Hendriks, who hoisted a pride flag at Guaranteed Rate Field with his wife, Kristi, said it’s important for every baseball organization to show support for the LGBTQ+ community.

While many MLB teams are already hosting events in conjunction with Pride Month, the Tampa Bay Rays recently made national news when their team’s Pride Night celebration turned into a controversy over whether players should wear caps and jerseys with the rainbow-colored logo. The Five Rays pitchers – Jason Adam, Jalen Beeks, Brooks Raley, Jeffrey Springs and Ryan Thompson – removed the rainbow logo and wore their usual caps.

Adams told the Tampa Bay Times that the players decided not to wear the rainbow logos for religious reasons, saying “it’s just that maybe we don’t want to encourage it if we believe in Jesus, who encouraged us to live a lifestyle that would abstain from this behavior, just as (Jesus) encourages me as a heterosexual man to abstain from sex outside the bounds of marriage.

Hendriks in an interview on Tuesday declined to address the Rays controversy, saying “everyone is entitled to their own opinions.” Sox players will not be asked to wear logos on their caps or jerseys, a team spokesperson said.

Is it important that the whole team shows their support?

“Not necessarily the whole team,” Hendriks replied. “But the more people you involve at certain times, the more you try to move the ball forward every year, whether it’s one player this year and another next year. …

“I know there are a lot of players who are very open to doing anything. They just don’t know if they want to be (vocal). They’re all in favor of supporting him. They just don’t know if they can come out and be that kind of voice, to show their face.

“I want to bring us to a society where you can say anything and have your own opinions, as long as it’s not hateful towards an entire demographic.”

Hendriks is not only comfortable being the voice of the Sox celebrating Pride Night – which they have been doing since 2018 – but said he spoke with the front office about his participation before signing here as a free agent.

“It was by no means a request, and it was not a decisive decision,” he said of the discussion. “It was something like, ‘Hey, if you don’t have (Pride Night), that’s a conversation we’re going to have to have. And if you have one, sweetie, how can I get more involved?

“I want to be, not the ambassador, but I want to make sure there’s a player’s name attached to that and we can go ahead and try to get every team to have one. guys, or a group of guys, who can put their face to this (event) and say, ‘This is what we’re doing in our clubhouse. This is what we’re aiming for.’

The Hendriks also donated South Slydah Society-branded Pride flags to the Sox event – ​​they will be distributed free of charge in Section 154. Liam Hendriks said he has been involved in the cause for many years and confirmed that he had received hateful comments on social media in support of the LGBTQ+ community.

He called them “cowards” who would never say the same comments to his face.

“Everyone tends to be a bit (a bit) of the keyboard warriors when they’re having no repercussions,” Hendriks said. “That’s how it is. The thing is, the hatred I feel for being an ally is very limited compared to what other people can feel if they’re in the spotlight or the limelight going through this test to go out and be true to themselves.

“It’s something that shouldn’t happen in life. But unfortunately that’s a lot of judgment without knowing the person. It’s a lot of hate and vitriol about a certain lifestyle. I think no one is perfect in this world. The fact that they can judge someone else for what he is is detrimental to an entire population.

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