Watch: First Out Pro Baseball Player Bryan Ruby Sings National Anthem Before Dodgers Game

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Tuesday September 14, 2021
Originally published on September 14, 2021

Bryan Ruby, pro baseball's only out gay player, delivered his rendition of the National Anthem before the Los Angeles Dodgers played a home game against the San Diego Padres on Sept. 12, USA Today Sports reported.

Wearing a Sports Equality Foundation T-shirt, Ruby took the mike as the announcer introduced him, noting that Ruby was "competing in the Global Field Day Challenge Charity Initiative" to fundraise for the organization.

"Now, this cause is extremely important to him, because last week he became the only active professional baseball player to be out as gay," the announcer continued.

As reported at EDGE at the time, Bryan came out in an exclusive interview with USA Today Sports that was published on Sept. 2.

Ruby, who is with the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes, told the publication about the pain of the closet and the liberation of leaving it behind.

"Being closeted for basically 10 years, it was a struggle the whole time," the athlete reflected. "I used to hate myself. Hate how I felt. I'd ask, 'Why am I feeling this way?'"

But now the 25-year-old is speaking out, hoping to bring some light into the lives of other young people who feel forced into living a lie. "I want to help create a world where future generations of baseball players don't have to sacrifice authenticity or who they really are to play the game they love," Ruby said.

The infielder went on to take note of the importance of visibility. "Each time somebody comes out in industries where queer people have not been historically represented in the mainstream, it helps to crumble the myth that you can't be yourself."

USA Today Sports took note of the fact that Ruby occupies a unique intersectionality, being both a pro baseball player and also a country western songwriter who's had two songs on the charts.

"Love songs don't need to be gay or straight," Ruby reflected. "And I've been able to write my best songs by being authentic." His songwriting creds made his singing of the National Anthem that much more poignant.

Watch Ruby's performance of the National Anthem below.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.