Mets Player Welcomes Gay Teammates But 'Disagrees With Lifestyle 100%'

by Jason St. Amand

National News Editor

Wednesday March 4, 2015

The New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy said he would welcome a gay teammate even though he "disagree[s] with the lifestyle, 100 percent," Deadspin reports.

Murphy's comments come after the Mets' general manager Sandy Alderson had Billy Bean, the first major league player to come out as gay, spend the day with the team on Tuesday. Alderson wanted Bean, who is the MLB's Ambassador for Inclusion, to tell his players his story and how he left baseball because he didn't feel like he could continue playing while being in the closet. Alderson hoped Bean's story would make the Mets' clubhouse a more inclusive place for all people.

The New York Times writes Bean played in the majors for six seasons but did not come out until a number of years after his career ended in 1995. Alderson heard him speak last year to a room full of baseball execs and was inspired by what he had to say, wanting to spread his message to his players.

While Murphy said he personally always wanted to meet Bean, he also had some choice words for the out former athlete.

"I disagree with his lifestyle," Murphy said. "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."

He then went on to say:

"Maybe, as a Christian, that we haven't been as articulate enough in describing what our actual stance is on homosexuality," he said. "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."

Deadspin writer Kevin Draper calls out Murphy, saying the baseball player is "more toward the 'oafish but well-meaning' end of the anti-gay spectrum than then 'Family Research Council' one, but that doesn't mean he deserves a pass."

Draper adds, "He can say whatever he wants about how he would welcome a gay teammate. What matters is that he evidently doesn't understand that when he says he disagrees with the gay 'lifestyle'-which doesn't exist and can't be disagreed with-four times in one interview, a lot of people, including gay ballplayers, are going to hear, 'I don't like gay people and am saying so in what I take to be a socially acceptable way.'"

According to the NYT, "Murphy, a solid hitter whose defense is not always reliable, is going into his free-agency year, and there has been constant speculation that the Mets might look to trade him. Whether his remarks about Bean will create any lingering problems for him in New York remains to be seen."