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Retired Minor League Baseball Player Jason Burch Comes Out

Retired minor league baseball player Jason Burch has publicly come out as gay in a new interview with OutSports. Beginning in 2003, Burch played on various minor league teams over the course of six seasons.

BurchIn the interview, Burch says that while he was open about his sexuality to those teammates who asked (one player inquired if Burch had a girlfriend. Burch told him that he did not and that he was into guys), he wasn't as forthright to people who didn't ask him about it directly.

OutSports reports:

"While he described professional baseball as 'like an individual sport,' he relished the opportunity to meet people in the smaller cities and towns away from baseball. He wasn't on ESPN or the front pages of local newspapers, so it was easy for him to take his baseball cap off and meet people - gay and straight - without delving into his baseball career. Unless they asked, he preferred to share who he was, not what he did."

Burch dated men the entire time he played in the minor league, meeting many of them online.

He reflects on how he would handle his openness about being gay if he could do it all over again.

"Looking back, I wish I had told the whole world that I'm gay from day one. That feeling of being relied upon, that people must turn to you as a closer to make things right, to have that role - and to have people have that feeling about me in that role - as a gay man, I think that would have been a powerful message. If we are talking about changing people's opinions, I do think that would have been a powerful message. But I wasn't really thinking about that at the time."

Burch quit baseball in 2008 and received a law degree a few years later. He's now practicing law in Chicago and has been with his partner since 2012.

MLB Player Torii Hunter Calls Reporter a 'Prick' for Asking About His Opposition to Gay Marriage: VIDEO


The Minnesota Twins held a press conference on Wednesday to officially announce that they had signed MLB veteran Torii Hunter.

Earlier this year, Hunter recorded a radio ad for Arkansas governor-elect Asa Hutchinson in which he trumpeted Hutchinson's bigotry as a selling points to voters.

Said Hunter in the ad: "Asa is committed to the principles we hold dear, like a strong faith in God, equal justice for all, and keeping marriage between one man and one woman."

A Pioneer Press reporter at the Twins press conference on Wednesday decided to bring it up, asking Hunter if he felt that the controversy over his views had impacted his free agent process as his contract with the Twins was a 19-percent decrease over his last contract.

Hunter said "no" but the reporter, Mike Berardino, brought it up again.

"The marriage question, is that the kind of thing that going forward that you're not going to mess with, or are you just such an open honest guy that if we asked you a question, you're going to answer it."

Hunter responded, "Nah, there's nothing to talk about. You already know. There's nothing to talk about. You already know, so why keep talking about it? I said it. It is what it is."

Hunter then called out the reporter, saying, "Hey, Mike is kind of a prick man. No, seriously. You're a prick, man. I don't even know you. You're a prick. Seriously. Ain't nothing wrong with that, man, that's your job. He's definitely a prick, though."


Hunter has said in the past that the idea of playing with an openly gay athlete made him "uncomfortable", "as a Christian."

Continue reading "MLB Player Torii Hunter Calls Reporter a 'Prick' for Asking About His Opposition to Gay Marriage: VIDEO" »

Veteran Major League Baseball Umpire Dale Scott Comes Out as Gay


Dale Scott, a Major League Baseball umpire for the last 29 seasons, came out of the closet in the "quietest way possible" this month in an issue of the subscription-only Referee magazine, Outsports reports.

Astonishingly, Scott is "the first Major League Baseball umpire to publicly say he is gay while active (and the first out active male official in the NBA, NHL, NFL or MLB)."

ScottScott's coming out was a photo of him and his partner of 28-years Michael Rausch aboard a plane traveling to the season opener between the Diamondbacks and the Dodgers, Outsports adds:

[Writer Peter] Jackel talked to friends of Scott's who grew up with him in Eugene, Ore., but nothing was written about his private life since he became an umpire. Prior to publication, the magazine's editor, Jeff Stern, wanted some non-game photos and that's when Scott made a decision to reveal a part of himself previously hidden from the public.

After consulting with his partner, Michael Rausch, Scott decided to send the photo below of the two of them...

"My thought process was," Scott told Outsports in his first interview on the subject, "is that there's a story about my career and how I got started in umpiring and they're talking to people I have known since junior high and it didn't seem right to have a whole story and pictures without a picture of Mike and I, someone who's been with me through this entire process. We met the October after my first year in the big leagues.

"Obviously, when I sent that picture to Jeff, I knew exactly what it meant. In a small way, this was opening that door in a publication that wasn't going to be circulated nationwide. It could be picked up, but it's not Time magazine. I made that decision to go ahead and do it because I felt it was the right thing to do.

Scott said the photo would not be a surprise to the MLB organization or the umpire staff and said he's not seeking attention for his story, though he may get it. The story is appearing on ESPN and other sports outlets.

Scott was able to add Rausch as his domestic partner in his contract with the umpire's union in 2010 (the two have been legally married since 2013) and says that people began offering his support after that, noting how baseball has changed:

"The first 10 years of my Major League umpire career, I would have been horrified if a story had come out that I was gay," he said. "But guys unprovoked started to approach me and say, 'I just want you to know that I would walk on the field with you any day, you're a great guy, a great umpire and I couldn't care less about your personal life.' Basically what they were saying without me provoking it was 'I know and I don't care.' That meant a lot to me because it surprised me since I had not brought it up. At first I was uncomfortable because I had spent my whole life hiding that fact from people even though I wasn't hiding it from myself or my friends."

Scott has worked three World Series, three All-Star Games, two no-hitters and numerous playoff games, according to OS. He adds:

"People scream at me because I'm an umpire. The last thing I want is people screaming at me because I'm gay. I'm an umpire who happens to be gay. I'm not trying to be some gay person who happens to be an umpire."

Read the full piece here and the Referee article here.

(inset image Referee magazine)

Kansas City Royals Marketing Executive Matt Schulte Comes Out as Gay - VIDEO


Matt Schulte, marketing coordinator for Major League Baseball team Kansas City Royals, has come out in an interview with Outsports. 

As the Royals made their unexpected run through the playoffs this year, Schulte began exploring the idea of coming out. Through conversations with other out gay people in sports he saw a side of sports that was inclusive of gay people.

As team victories mounted this year and the elusive World Series drew near, his confidence grew and he began to find inner pride in a way he had never experienced before.

Although coming out to his father and stepmother had been a positive experience, doing so in the macho environment of Major League Baseball was a whole different matter.

"To walk into my boss's office, how do I set it up? Do I give them a warning? Do I spring it on them? I'm still not even totally comfortable with saying the words, 'I'm gay.'"

Still not knowing how to address the topic with co-workers and friends, he decided to share his story publicly via Outsports.

Watch Matt talk about his lifelong connection with Kansas City Royals, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continuing a positive recent trend, professional strongman Rob Kearney came out earlier this year as did Sky Sports presenter Mark McAdam.

[photo via Facebook]

Continue reading "Kansas City Royals Marketing Executive Matt Schulte Comes Out as Gay - VIDEO" »

MLB's Torii Hunter Endorses Arkansas Politician for Protecting 'One Man and One Woman' Marriage: AUDIO


Earlier this week, Major League Baseball player Torii Hunter released a radio spot, endorsing a politician from his native Arkansas. The politician is Asa Hutchinson (R), who is running for governor.

In the spot, Hunter specifically appeals to Black voters, saying that in Hutchinson's time as a lawyer, he "fought for more majority African-American districts in the state legislature." He continues, saying Hutchinson is "committed to the principles we hold dear, like a strong faith in God, equal justice for all, and keeping marriage between one man and one woman."

As if the above contradiction weren't blatant enough, Hunter also invokes Martin Luther King in the spot, quoting him in saying "men should be judged by the content of their character." This is given as a reason for Black voters to not dismiss Hutchinson: Said Hunter: "we too often prejudge political candidates by their party label. I'm asking you to consider Asa for his actions."

This isn't the first time Torii Hunter has let his beliefs on gay issues be known; in 2012, he said the thought of playing with a gay athlete made him "uncomfortable," "as a Christian." 

AFTER THE JUMP is full text of the speech, and the audio embedded:

Continue reading "MLB's Torii Hunter Endorses Arkansas Politician for Protecting 'One Man and One Woman' Marriage: AUDIO" »

Thomas Roberts Talks To Gay Former MLB Player Billy Bean About His Return to Baseball: VIDEO


Former professional baseball player Billy Bean, who retired in 1995 before he could come out, recently spoke with Morning Joe's Thomas Roberts about his return to the sport - now as the MLB's first Ambassador of Inclusion.  

In his new role, Bean will develop educational training initiatives to combat homophobia and will help the league prepare for the reality of having a future gay player. To date, there are no openly gay MLB athletes. 

Check out the segment, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Thomas Roberts Talks To Gay Former MLB Player Billy Bean About His Return to Baseball: VIDEO" »


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