The news here is that a “gay professional baseball player” has denounced the Tampa Bay Rays players who declined to celebrate gayness with LGBTQ uniforms, but it’s really about an establishment media outlet giving massive space to a marginal athlete who never would have gotten any attention anywhere were it not for the fact that he has taken the stunning and brave, i.e. utterly conventional and highly celebrated, step of declaring that he’s homosexual. Now he is enraged at Rays players who refuse to celebrate his lifestyle choice, and for media propagandists, that’s news.

But the far-Left’s press agents really had to beat the bushes for this one. The USA Today gay hero du jour, Bryan Ruby, may not really be a professional baseball player at all. Last year, the paper identified him, in its first story about how wonderful it was that a pro baseball player was coming out as gay, as a member of the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes of the Mavericks Independent League in Oregon. Never heard of the Mavericks Independent League? Join the club. This league is so low-level that even, which contains statistics for numerous minor leagues as well as the majors, doesn’t include it. Not only that, but this year, the Volcanoes statistics don’t include Ruby, and USA Today reported Monday that he is “taking June off before exploring his options for lacing up this summer on pro teams.”

Taking June off! Must be nice. Ruby is either so committed to his gay identity that he is willing to take the financial hit that comes from not sullying himself with mundane labor during the sacred Pride Month, or he is such a nonentity on the playing field (that is, the baseball one) that he can’t actually get a job as the professional baseball player he is billed to be, or both. In any case, none of Ruby’s former teammates on the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes have been or are likely ever to be the subject of lavish profiles in USA Today, and the fact that Ruby, a ballplayer who has accomplished exactly nothing on the ballfield, has now been the focus of two such profiles is yet more testimony to the fact that news organizations today are not really news organizations at all, but propaganda organs for the hard Left.

Ruby did deliver for USA Today, if not as a baseball player, excoriating Tampa Bay Rays players Jason Adam, Jalen Beeks, Brooks Raley, Jeffrey Springs, and Ryan Thompson for declining to participate in Pride Night festivities. “It sends a very clear message,” Ruby fumed, “and that message is: LGBTQ people are not welcome here.”

Related: Brave Tampa Bay Rays Players Refuse to Play Along With ‘Pride Night’

No, it doesn’t. Let me give you an analogy, Ruby: what if the Tampa Bay Rays were celebrating Christian Night at the ballpark, and gave all the players special uniforms that had big crosses on them? And what if you were a member of the Rays and refused to wear that uniform? Would any Christian players be justified in saying that you were sending a very clear message that Christians were not welcome at the Rays’ already sparsely attended ballpark? I expect you’d be the first to affirm that you weren’t saying that Christians were not welcome but only that you preferred not to don a symbol of a group to which you did not belong. And the Rays, of course, wouldn’t dream of holding a Christian Night at the ballpark and making the players wear crosses, because the Rays think they respect the freedom of conscience. But suddenly when it comes to Pride Night, the freedom of conscience goes right out the window.

But Ruby persisted in posturing that this coddled, praised, lionized, cosseted group is somehow the victim: “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. 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.”

Or maybe it’s because you aren’t even good enough as a player to stick with the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes, Bryan. Or because you’re clearly an accomplished whiner. In any case, the analogy with Christian Night can be extended. When your own teammates, or your own team, publicly gesture that you don’t belong there, as the Rays and other teams do with their Pride Nights, it is indeed nearly impossible to succeed. Adam, Beeks, Raley, Springs, and Thompson have shown real courage and may pay a steep price for doing so. The culture, these days, belongs to the likes of Bryan Ruby.

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