Minnesota Twins outfielder Torii Hunter ripped a newspaper reporter during his introductory news conference on Wednesday, calling the journalist names when asked about his views about same-sex marriage.
The Twins announced Hunter had returned to the team by signing a one-year deal worth $10.5 million.
At end of the news conference, Mike Berardino, a Twins beat reporter for the St. Paul Pioneer-Press, asked Hunter about his endorsement of Arkansas Republican Governor-elect Asa Hutchinson. Hutchinson and Hunter have been know to have strong views on same-sex marriage and Berardino asked if that could have affected him in free agency.
In 2012, Hunter said he would not be comfortable playing with an openly gay teammate.
"Hey Mike is kind of a p---k huh? No, seriously, you're a p---k man," Hunter said. "I don't even know you. You're a p---k. Seriously. Ain't nothing wrong with that man, that's your job. He's definitely a p---k, though."
Hunter continued saying that the questions were not baseball related and he would talk about it when he retired.
"No. I mean, nah. There's nothing to talk about," Hunter said. "You already know, so why keep talking about it. I said it. It is what it is. No, I'm not going to talk about it if you bring it up. "It's not even baseball related. We can do that later, when I retire. Then I'll tell you the truth -- everything."
Berardino released a statement Wednesday, saying in part that he asked Hunter the questions because “I wanted to give Mr. Hunter an opportunity to respond to his critics."
- Scooby Axson