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Gay Dad Pens Open Letter to Homophobic Mets Player Daniel Murphy: 'I Do Not Have a Lifestyle'

Raj

New York Mets fan and gay father Jon Raj has written an open letter to Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy after Murphy made headlines earlier this week for saying he disagreed with former MLB player Billy Bean's gay "lifestyle."

Wrote Raj in part:

MurphyAs a gay man, life-long Mets fan, and father of a budding Mets fan, I feel compelled to reach out to you, as you have certainly reached me with your feelings regarding my family.

To me, you are a great baseball player who has demonstrated commitment and determination when faced with adversity. I have followed you in your quest to become an All-Star second baseman and truly admire what you have accomplished.

To my son, you are more -- you are a role model. I understand that may not have been something you signed up for, but for better or worse, for him and others like him, you are larger than life.

Let me try to explain why what you said was not an innocuous sound byte, but rather an offensive statement. First, I do not have a lifestyle. I didn't choose my sexuality the same way you didn't choose yours. Second, being gay is not what defines me, but rather it is just one important part of who I am. So when you say that you disagree with who I am, you are also disagreeing with my son and my family. We are not a lifestyle choice -- we are a family. [...]

Some wonder how the gay rights movement has progressed so well so fast. To me it is quite simple: once you recognize that your brother, son, neighbor, or co-worker is gay, you don't just continue to "love him" but you learn to actually accept and respect him for who he is as a person -- and that changes everything.

Read the letter in full HERE

Yesterday, we reported Billy Bean had penned his own response to Murphy's comments, with Bean striking a conciliatory tone saying "It took me 32 years to fully accept my sexual orientation, so it would be hypocritical of me to not be patient with others."


Out Former MLB Player Billy Bean Responds to NY Mets' Daniel Murphy's Disagreement With His 'Gay Lifestyle'

Bean
(screenshot)

Yesterday, we reported New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy's anti-gay comments regarding openly gay former Major League Baseball player Billy Bean.

Said Murphy:

Murphy"I disagree with his lifestyle. I do disagree with the fact that Billy is a homosexual. That doesn't mean I can't still invest in him and get to know him. I don't think the fact that someone is a homosexual should completely shut the door on investing in them in a relational aspect. Getting to know him. That, I would say, you can still accept them but I do disagree with the lifestyle, 100 percent…

"Maybe, as a Christian, that we haven't been as articulate enough in describing what our actual stance is on homosexuality. We love the people. We disagree the lifestyle. That's the way I would describe it for me. It's the same way that there are aspects of my life that I'm trying to surrender to Christ in my own life. There's a great deal of many things, like my pride. I just think that as a believer trying to articulate it in a way that says just because I disagree with the lifestyle doesn't mean I'm just never going to speak to Billy Bean every time he walks through the door. That's not love. That's not love at all."

Bean, who recently became MLB's first Ambassador for Inclusion, responded to Murphy's comments in a post over at MLB.com.

Wrote Bean, in part:

When I took this job at MLB, I knew it was going to take time for many to embrace my message of inclusion. Expecting everyone to be supportive right away is simply not realistic. If you asked anyone who has competed in high-level men's professional sports, I believe they would agree with me. This doesn't change the way I go about my business, or my belief in what I am doing, but it's reality.

After reading his comments, I appreciate that Daniel spoke his truth. I really do. I was visiting his team, and a reporter asked his opinion about me. He was brave to share his feelings, and it made me want to work harder and be a better example that someday might allow him to view things from my perspective, if only for just a moment.

I respect him, and I want everyone to know that he was respectful of me. We have baseball in common, and for now, that might be the only thing. But it's a start.

The silver lining in his comments are that he would be open to investing in a relationship with a teammate, even if he "disagrees" with the lifestyle. It may not be perfect, but I do see him making an effort to reconcile his religious beliefs with his interpretation of the word lifestyle. It took me 32 years to fully accept my sexual orientation, so it would be hypocritical of me to not be patient with others.

Inclusion means everyone, plain and simple. Daniel is part of that group. A Major League clubhouse is now one of the most diverse places in sports. It wasn't always that way, but we can thank No. 42 for that. So in his honor, with a little patience, compassion and hard work, we'll get there.


NY Mets' Daniel Murphy Disagrees With Out Former Player Billy Bean’s ‘Gay Lifestyle’

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New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy said in an interview with NJ.com that he would accept a gay teammate, but said that he "Disagrees with the lifestyle, 100 percent," reports Deadspin. Murphy’s comments come after Mets Manager Sandy Alderson had the first major league player to ever come out publicly, Billy Bean, spend a day in uniform with the team yesterday. Murphy says he wanted the team to meet Bean, and that he’s personally wanted to meet Bean for a long time, but the Mets player’s comments about the "Gay lifestyle," indicates that whatever respect he has for Bean as a player is undercut by his disrespect for his "lifestyle."

Said Murphy:

"I disagree with his lifestyle. I do disagree with the fact that Billy is a homosexual. That doesn't mean I can't still invest in him and get to know him. I don't think the fact that someone is a homosexual should completely shut the door on investing in them in a relational aspect. Getting to know him. That, I would say, you can still accept them but I do disagree with the lifestyle, 100 percent…

"Maybe, as a Christian, that we haven't been as articulate enough in describing what our actual stance is on homosexuality. We love the people. We disagree the lifestyle. That's the way I would describe it for me. It's the same way that there are aspects of my life that I'm trying to surrender to Christ in my own life. There's a great deal of many things, like my pride. I just think that as a believer trying to articulate it in a way that says just because I disagree with the lifestyle doesn't mean I'm just never going to speak to Billy Bean every time he walks through the door. That's not love. That's not love at all."

Screen Shot 2015-03-04 at 12.29.50 PMBean is Major League Baseball’s Ambassador for Inclusion, and Alderson wanted Bean to share his story of how he left baseball because he struggled to continue playing while hiding his sexual orientation, and to make the Mets clubhouse feel more inclusive for all people. Bean heard Murphy’s comments after he received several emails asking how he felt about the player’s "gay lifestyle" comments. Bean responded to Murphy’s comments with class in an article he wrote for MLB.com.

Said Bean:

"After reading his comments, I appreciate that Daniel spoke his truth. I really do. I was visiting his team, and a reporter asked his opinion about me. He was brave to share his feelings, and it made me want to work harder and be a better example that someday might allow him to view things from my perspective, if only for just a moment.

"I respect him, and I want everyone to know that he was respectful of me. We have baseball in common, and for now, that might be the only thing. But it's a start.

"The silver lining in his comments are that he would be open to investing in a relationship with a teammate, even if he "disagrees" with the lifestyle. It may not be perfect, but I do see him making an effort to reconcile his religious beliefs with his interpretation of the word lifestyle. It took me 32 years to fully accept my sexual orientation, so it would be hypocritical of me to not be patient with others."


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

Hunter

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."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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

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)


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