Billy Bean, a former major league player who is openly gay, responded to comments made by New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy. Murphy said he disagrees with Bean's gay "lifestyle."
Bean, the league's ambassador of inclusion, was invited by Mets general manager Sandy Alderson to spring training on Tuesday to talk to his players about acceptance in the clubhouse.
Afterwards, Murphy told the New York Daily News that he "disagrees with the lifestyle" of gay people, but "that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t love a teammate who is gay." Murphy also said he was glad Bean talked to the club.
"After reading his comments, I appreciate that Daniel spoke his truth," Bean wrote. "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."
Bean said it would by hypocritical of him to not have patience with people who have Murphy's viewpoints since it took Bean "32 years to fully accept my sexual orientation."
"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," wrote Bean. "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."
Bean, who was named baseball's "Ambassador for Inclusion" by former MLB commissioner Bud Selig last July, said he did not show up at the Mets spring training to change anyone’s mind about the subject. Bean played six major league seasons and says he was never comfortable as a gay man while playing.
- Molly Geary