Daniel Murphy, the MLB player who “disagrees with the (gay) lifestyle, 100 percent,” debuted for the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday night, five days before the Cubs’ LGBTQ Pride night on Sunday.
Murphy, who made the remarks in 2015 about out former MLB player Billy Bean, was asked to clarify his remarks on Thursday, and it was clear that little had changed about his views.
Said Murphy: “What I would say to that is that I’ve been able to foster a really positive relationship with Billy Bean since that time. I’m really excited to continue to cultivate that relationship that we’ve built. Billy, his job I think is Ambassador for Inclusion with Major League Baseball is a vital role so that everyone feels included, not only in our industry in baseball, but in all aspects of life. Again, I hope that anyone that comes to Wrigley Field feels welcome. That’s my hope. That’s the hope of Major League Baseball. And speaking with Billy Bean — again, like I said, the relationship that we’ve been able to forge — that’s what he’s trying to do. I think that’s what we’re trying to do as an industry. We want people to feel welcome, whatever walk of life that might be.”
When asked if he had a message to any fans conflicted with his presence on the team, Murphy responded: “Oh dear. I would hope that you would root for the Cubs.”
“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 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.
“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.”
Bill Gubrud, who created Out at Wrigley in 2001, told Block Club Chicago: I just don’t like the man at all. Honestly, when someone says they don’t like the gay lifestyle, what they’re saying is, ‘I think it’s gross when two guys are having sex together.’ And that’s exactly what Daniel Murphy meant. There weren’t many openly gay sports fans [during the first Gay Day in 2001] because of the fear of retribution, of going to a ballpark and all that … . Stupid comments like that from Daniel Murphy, there’s no place in society for anything like that.”
Wrote Cyd Zeigler at Outsports: ‘I have never advocated for chasing every single Christian person out of sports who “disagrees” with the fact that I’m married to my husband. But when someone decides to publicly elevate the anti-gay environment of the sports world, it’s up to him to fix that. That Murphy hasn’t done that, and that the Cubs would sign him days before Out At Wrigley, is disappointing.’