Players’ View: Is Baseball Ready for an Openly Gay Player?

PrideNight
O.co Coliseum prepares for the Athletics’ LGBT Pride Night.

The Athletics had an LGBT Pride event Wednesday night, and the night was peppered with love for many people that haven’t always felt comfortable at the ballpark.

Opera Singer Breanna Sinclaire, the first trans singer accepted into the San Francisco Conservatory of Music’s master’s program according to the San Francisco Chronicle, sang the anthem. According to Major League Baseball, she was also the first trans singer to perform the anthem.

MLB ambassador of inclusion Billy Bean was in the building, and was part of the impetus for the event, as the news of this event came out after he addressed the Athletics in Spring Training.

Sean Doolittle’s partner Eireann Dolan helped improve the event, as she not only offered to buy back tickets from disgruntled ticketholders with a heartfelt and funny letter, but also started a GoFundMe to help pay for even more donated tickets to members of Our Space, AIDS Project East Bay and Frameline, a nonprofit LGBTQ cinema foundation.

It seemed like a good time to ask the ballplayers willing to comment about the issue at hand: is baseball ready for an openly gay player, and what obstacles might they face when it happens? Even with a few “no comments,” the opinions given all had their own unique angle, and showed that even a ready country and sport will not make the first openly gay player’s professional life easy.

Athletics pitcher Sonny Gray: “I don’t think it would be a problem with pretty much anyone. I don’t think it would be a problem at all. I’m not really sure what problems they’d face, I’ve never really thought about it. I’m sure it will happen sooner than later, and I think that when that times comes, it’ll be completely fine with everyone.”

Athletics outfielder Sam Fuld: “I don’t think there’s any doubt that baseball’s ready. I just think we’re ready, especially now that there’s been a little bit of movement in basketball and football, since Jason Collins and Michael Sam — at least to some degree — paved the way for a major leaguer to come out. If there’s any clubhouse in any part of the country that’s ready for it, this is it. The Bay Area is certainly a progressive place. Inevitably there is going to be some backlash. Not necessarily from inside the clubhouse, but outside. I think you can equate it to some degree with Jackie Robinson, and the pioneering that he did. Certainly a different dynamic, but there are a lot of parallels. If a player were to come out, he’d certainly get heckled, and I’m sure that would be a challenge. Inevitably, whether it happens tomorrow or five years from now, it’s going to be challenging for the player. But for that player, it would probably be worth it in the long run. And in the short run — you hear people talk about what a relief it is to come out and be comfortable with themselves. They’d probably be willing to deal with the negative commotion that comes with it.”

Athletics outfielder Josh Reddick: “It’s tough to say. You never know until it actually happens. I don’t want to say we are and say we aren’t at the same time, but I don’t know how guys will act in certain situations. It’s just something we have to wait for to see when it happens. A lot of guys are so used to not dealing with it, and not even really thinking about it. Not saying all of us are homophobes by any means, it’s just never know how it’s going taken by certain guys, what guys are not going to want to change in front of them, because you never know how comfortable they are going to be in that perspective. It’s not like we’d treat him any different in here or out there; he’s still your teammate, and that’s what you gotta focus on.”

Padres pitcher Tyson Ross: “I think this country as a whole is evolved from where we were a long time ago — events like this. I don’t think it really matters. People are people, baseball players are baseball players. I come from a pretty diverse place, growing up in the Bay Area, but I think it’s about letting the best players play. That’s what it’s about.”

Padres outfielder Justin Upton: “Baseball is a sport that’s America’s game. As far as being American, you can do what you want to do and be who you want to be. It’s one of those things where, any time you’re the first person to do anything, there’s going to be a lot of media, a lot of things going on, and those are things that the person would have to handle in that position. But baseball is America’s game and that’s why we live in this country and enjoy these freedoms. If you can hack it, you can play.”

Retired outfielder Billy Bean: “Today is a perfect win for this organization and for baseball. Nobody is expecting them to be experts or to understand fully the magnitude of having a transgender person sing the national anthem… Whether the players are ready to let it scratch the surface of their consciousness, I think the bigger, more important point is that fans and the community see what the A’s stand for, and it’s going to have a lasting impression on a lot of people that aren’t going to have the chance to say thank you today… It’s just a simple message of acceptance and embracing our differences. The beauty is that today, we have one thing in common: we all love baseball. There are a lot kids, all types, especially in the LGBT community, where an environment like this was a source of great pain and fear because they did not feel that they could be themselves.

“When you’re playing pickup basketball in the park, three or five on each side, they don’t know each other when they get there, but if you become one group and you work together and you win, then you get to keep playing and playing, and there’s a fairness to that… For me, knowing what it felt like even on the field, when I just buried my secret deeper and deeper, even then I was afraid to tell my own family. I chose to leave baseball before I had the talk with my own parents. My mom said it was harder for them to accept that I wasn’t a baseball player than it was for them to accept that I was gay because they love that so much. It was like a knife in my heart because at that time I’d been out of baseball for two years and I didn’t realize that me walking away took that away from my family.

“That’s the core of the message when I do talk to players. It’s not about changing the way they think, or their religion, it’s really about the wonderful opportunity and privilege it is to be a baseball player, and all the wonderful things that go with that. And now that baseball is supportive of the message of inclusion for every type of diversity that wants to come through the turnstiles, or hopefully work for a team someday, I don’t think they find it such a huge obstacle to get past. I think they see the simplicity of that.”

Thanks to Nathaly Morga for the header image.

We hoped you liked reading Players’ View: Is Baseball Ready for an Openly Gay Player? by Eno Sarris!

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With a phone full of pictures of pitchers' fingers, strange beers, and his two toddler sons, Eno Sarris can be found at the ballpark or a brewery most days. Read him here, writing about the A's or Giants at The Athletic, or about beer at October. Follow him on Twitter @enosarris if you can handle the sandwiches and inanity.

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Forrest Gumption
Member
Forrest Gumption

Where’s Torii Hunter’s quote?

TKDC
Guest
TKDC

I’m sure there are many homophobic players in baseball, but most have the good sense to keep their mouths shut. I’m sure there are racists and other types of awful people, too. Luckily we’ve moved to a place in society where it isn’t considered okay to dislike people for being gay, even under the guise of something else.

Unapologetic Observer
Guest
Unapologetic Observer

Ask and ye shall receive:

Former Angels outfielder Torii Hunter, among baseball’s most thoughtful and intelligent players, isn’t kidding when he says an “out” teammate could divide a team.

“For me, as a Christian … I will be uncomfortable because in all my teachings and all my learning, biblically, it’s not right,” he says. “It will be difficult and uncomfortable.”

TheUncool
Guest
TheUncool

Although I (and essentially any Bible-believing Christian) believes it’s sin, that doesn’t mean I (and all of us Bible-believing Christians) believe LGBT people should not be allowed to play the game in the MLB.

IMHO, give them separate facilities, eg. shower rooms, probably lockers, etc, w/in reason to make it workable. IF you wouldn’t expect female athletes to share the same shower rooms, locker rooms, etc. as male athletes, then you shouldn’t expect a straight man to share likewise w/ a gay man or similar. Beyond such, there’s no real reason why a gay man or a straight woman or most anyone else mature (and talented) enough can’t play in the MLB.

This sin doesn’t have to be treated like the plague or something of the sort. We are all sinners and each have our own sins to deal w/, but that doesn’t automatically disqualify us from whatever jobs/careers we choose. We’re not talking about being a homocidal maniac or similar afterall…

As for non-believers who object to it being called a sin at all, well, we all have our own beliefs and biases… whether we readily acknowledge such or not…

Shalom…

buzz
Guest
buzz

Right, because separate facilities has always worked historically for equality.

Mark
Guest
Mark

How inclusive of you to suggest that a gay athlete should have a separate locker room.

TheUncool
Guest
TheUncool

So are you saying MLB should also force female ballplayers to share the same shower rooms, locker rooms, etc. w/ the male ones if we ever have female ballplayers reach the MLB?

Inclusion and equality doesn’t mean everyone should be forced to feel comfortable w/ having all their private parts, etc. be visible to everyone else, does it?

TheUncool
Guest
TheUncool

My point is do what’s sensible/reasonable.

Perhaps another option might be to simply not allow players to walk around naked (or even half-naked) in the shower rooms or locker rooms then, if they must share such…

Andy
Guest
Andy

I’ve got a better idea: separate facilities for the uncomfortable “Bible-believing” players who can’t handle it. Everybody else can use the main clubhouse.

Char
Guest
Char

I hate to break this to you, but professional athletes are already sharing lockerrooms with gay teammates. And many of them are well aware of it.

a eskpert
Guest
a eskpert

You don’t have to be comfortable. Have you ever been to a public Gym or pool change room? Get over it. Having openly gay players make you uncomfortable is hardly akin to having to share a single change room with members of the opposite sex. Addditionally, there’s been at least a handful of closeted big leaguers, so it’s not as if it’s all that new.

Mark
Guest
Mark

At no point did I say women should share bathrooms with men. I said that it’s crazy, and quite frankly insulting, to suggest that men who are gay cannot share a shower room or locker room with straight man.

It’s neither reasonable or sensible, it’s discriminatory and disgusting that you’d even suggest it.

I don’t even know what to say but you’re either an excellent troll or a despicable human being. You can hide behind religion all you want, but not all Christians believe this nonsense. You, “TheUncool”, simply hates or fears gays and you’re trying to push your idea as a religious belief, when that’s pure bullshit.

I’m not going to continue wasting my time arguing this, because as I said, you’re either trolling, or an awful person, and neither option is worth my time.

vonstott
Member
Member
vonstott

Or they could just treat a teammate like a teammate. Do you think every woman is interested in your junk? They aren’t. Why would you assume that a gay man would be?

TheUncool
Guest
TheUncool

The point isn’t whether some players are already comfortable w/ it.

The point is what should and should not be forced on every player… both those already in the MLB and those who might be in the future.

And isn’t whether I personally am uncomfortable w/ another gay person seeing my own parts, etc.

IF you’re going to make rules that everyone must follow, you have to allow for the reality that some will be uncomfortable.

Heck, I don’t know that all female athletes would be uncomfortable sharing a shower room or a locker room w/ male athletes. But there probably are enough who are to make that allowance, no?

Don’t be so intolerant of other people’s beliefs, feelings, etc. while proudly promoting your own brand of self-proclaimed tolerance, acceptance, etc.

WillieBloomquistButtCyst
Guest
WillieBloomquistButtCyst

I see what you’re saying, separate but equal.

TheUncool
Guest
TheUncool

LOL, people are so reactionary…

vonstott
Member
Member
vonstott

Why do think the idea that “this is where the baseball players get dressed” is even 1% controversial? A locker room is a workplace. Does your workplace have a smorgasbord of bathrooms or do they pretty much divide it by whether standing up to pee will work for you or not?

Twitchy
Guest
Twitchy

Pot,”Don’t be so intolerant of other people’s beliefs, feelings, etc. while proudly promoting your own brand of self-proclaimed tolerance, acceptance, etc.”

Pot, meet kettle.

TheUncool
Guest
TheUncool

And no, I’m not saying the separate facilities idea must be the only way. That’s just one possible idea.

IF that’s not acceptable, find some other way to make it workable.

IF no players (both present and future) are actually bothered by sharing shower rooms, etc. or anything else, then sure, no such need at all.

But don’t just jump right to the conclusion that nobody should be allowed to object at all no matter what…

TheUncool
Guest
TheUncool

@Twitchy,

At my workplace, there’s no culture of walking around naked or even half-naked in front of my fellow coworkers either. Heck, I’m not even allowed to wear tank top and shorts, LOL.

Some workplaces don’t allow anything particularly revealing at all for professional attire.

TheUncool
Guest
TheUncool

Oops, that last reply should not have been directed to Twitchy, but to vonstott (and whoever else believes there should be absolutely zero concern at all regarding sharing certain relatively private spaces in such situations).

Andy
Guest
Andy

TheUncool, I’m not clear why you think uncomfortable straight players (religious or otherwise) need to be accommodated in the first place.

This is America. Freedom of choice! If you don’t like sharing a locker room with gay people, you’re free to choose to not go to the gym. Just like if a racist isn’t comfortable sharing a restaurant with a black person, they can choose to eat at home.

And if Torii Hunter isn’t comfortable sharing a locker room with a gay teammate because he’s squeamish, he can retire. Nobody’s forcing anybody to do anything. Freedom!

asdf
Guest
asdf

“give them separate facilities”
“doesn’t have to be treated like the plague”

GoOppo
Guest
GoOppo

The uncool…ppl are jumping on you because of the locker room thing, I took the good from what you said, that being that not all “believers” would necessarily think it’s a dividing issue. Whereas toriI might have been speaking for himself, sometimes when you say “as a Christian” ppl might think all christians, and that certainly isn’t the case

TheUncool
Guest
TheUncool

@Andy,

Let me get this straight. People should have freedom of choice.

But Torii Hunter should just retire rather than have the freedom to not be put on the spot for being uncomfortable about sharing certain private spaces or be treated like an outcast as soon as self-proclaimed tolerant, freedom-loving people dominate the scene?

NVM that there might be workable solutions to allow everyone to be comfortable enough and not necessarily be treated as outcasts. We won’t try to find any such solutions, but will just shoot first and not bother to ask later…

Got it.

Andy
Guest
Andy

@TheUncool: yes.

It’s ridiculous that you think having separate facilities would not mean treating a person forced to use those facilities “as an outcast.” That’s simply delusional.

Your argument is that THEY (gay people) should be the outcasts, not US (homophobes).

I’m not going to convince you that you’re wrong, but I don’t have to. You’re losing, around the country and the world. It’s over. Either adjust your attitude, or get used to being uncomfortable, or get used to being an outcast.

Andy
Guest
Andy

@TheUncool

Or, of course, Torii Hunter can shower and change somewhere else. That’d be up to him. We can put HIM in separate facilities, where he’ll be nice and comfortable.

TheUncool
Guest
TheUncool

@Andy,

Then by all means, have MLB provide separate set of facilities for anyone not comfortable w/ sharing the same such spaces in that manner.

I did subsequently clarify that I didn’t mean MLB has to put gay people in those separate facilities or that having separate facilities must be the only way.

Do what’s sensible and workable. Maybe separate facilities are needed for the near term, but not in the long run. Maybe not.

But we won’t really know if folks will not even allow discussion on this issue…

Andy
Guest
Andy

TheUncool, there are dozens of comments’ worth of “discussion” of the issue right here. Nobody’s disallowing anything.

People are mocking you because you have a bad and wrong position. Let’s discuss it all day. You’re just upset that you’re so far in the minority on this.

Tough shit.

TheUncool
Guest
TheUncool

@GoOppo, apparently, somebody didn’t like your sympathetic comment enough to vote it down, LOL. Talk about (in)tolerance.

@Andy, yeah, “tough shit” is a great way to win an argument. And nice try w/ claiming I’m just “upset” about being the “minority” here, LOL…

Andy
Guest
Andy

@TheUncool.

Scoreboard.

Not just here, nationwide. Nobody’s buying this crap any more.

I’m not trying to win an argument any more; I’m just mocking you. Like I said, the “argument” is pretty much all over but the shouting, now. Instead, I’m telling you personally, with your wrong-side-of-history whining: tough shit.

TheUncool
Guest
TheUncool

@Andy,

You’re right nobody’s *technically* not allowing discussion in one sense, but what meaningful discussion can be had if those disagreeing will simply resort to this sort of approach to disagreement as soon as the matter begins?

GoOppo
Guest
GoOppo

Theuncool…honestly Idc if someone votes me down or up. I dont agree with some of what you said. But I didn’t step up and offer the perfect locker room solution before you tried your hand. It’s refreshing to hear someone, who like torii, is well christian, and doesn’t automatically see this as a dividing issue. Some people come on here to pick apart other peoples comments. It’s their moral gladiatorial arena. Don’t fight them about your opinion, right or wrong, that’s what they want. This is a free country and people are allowed (encouraged i would hope, so long as its not hateful or bigoted)feel any way they want to.

TheUncool
Guest
TheUncool

And gotta love the “wrong side of history” bulletpoint too.

Do people even know how to discuss anything w/out resorting to endless polarizing rhetoric?

And yes, I’m directing that last criticism towards the so-called excessively politicized Religious Right as well.

Andy
Guest
Andy

Poor you… nobody will “discuss” your opinion with you on your terms, because they don’t respect it.

I know you think you’re a special snowflake, but you aren’t entitled to being taken seriously if you don’t make worthwhile points. Nothing you’ve said here yet is worth being taken seriously, and I very much doubt anything is forthcoming. Enjoy the rest of your day.

TheUncool
Guest
TheUncool

@GoOppo,

Truth is… I suspect we’d all be walking around naked and not be bothered one bit if sin didn’t enter the world (and human nature). Afterall, Adam & Eve clearly didn’t notice and wasn’t bothered until after the Fall.

Take care and be well.

And yes, despite the apparent hate, I do wish everyone else well too…

Shalom…

Randy
Guest
Randy

When your reason for ANYTHING is: “My imaginary friend in the sky says so,” I refuse to take you seriously. It’s amazing that, in 2015, this bullshit still holds any sway at all…

Randy
Guest
Randy

So, TheUncool, you say that you say that killing gays would be wrong (“Not saying it’d be ok if my conscience is telling me to go kill gay people or anything remotely like that of course. But that’s also not what we’re talking about here, right?”), but right here in your precious bible it says: “If a man lies with a male as with a women, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives.” (Leviticus 20:13)

Eisenheim
Member
Eisenheim

I suppose the christians will, of course, insist upon separate facilities for each terrible sin which makes them uncomfortable? Lol. Men who lie to their wives or cheat on the girlfriends or beat their children or drink and drive may shower wherever they please. It’s just the gay men who must be feared and despised. The hypocrisy of christians knows no bounds.

Tuscan Chicken
Guest
Tuscan Chicken

If I was a MLB player, I would be all for this. Then I would come out as gay. My own facilities? Jeah!

He guys, do you want to play XBox that I don’t haveto share? I bet, screw you pitchers. My facilitiez, my rules, bitches!

TheUncool
Guest
TheUncool

@Randy,

As GoOppo mentioned in another subthread, we may be treading too far into religion at this point.

But I will reply thus-ly, hoping it is ok enough. Much of the OT indeed present difficult passages for believers today — heck, the NT itself also present some difficult passages too. The one you referenced is definitely one of them. But I believe having a proper understand of such difficult passages require full context for such. And I doubt this is the right forum to delve that deeply into it.

Consider this NT passage as a hint to part of the answer:

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom 6:23)

IF (as I claimed) we all sin, then we are all deserving of death according to the Apostle Paul who wrote a large portion of the NT — and yes, Jesus also show similar sentiment. But the point isn’t so much that we’re deserving of death, but that we have a way out thru the free gift.

And no, I’m not espousing the notion that people should be put to death for their sins.

What I would add is that context is crucial, and our context in the USA today certainly isn’t the same as the context of OT Israel, especially back when Leviticus was given to that people…

Shalom…

Eisenheim
Member
Eisenheim

Pity the poor christian who embraces their biblical bigotry and clings to it out of fear and ignorance. They do not think for themselves, that’s scary stuff. They think as the ancients thought. They fear as the ancients feared. They are ignorant as the ancients were ignorant. Pity the poor fearful and ignorant christian.

TheUncool
Guest
TheUncool

Sigh…

All Christians must apparently be dumb or do not think for themselves to believe in something “religious”…

CuriousCuria
Guest
CuriousCuria

This may come off as snarky, but it’s not supposed to be – it’s a genuine question about where the line you suggest should be drawn. Some players have religious beliefs that clearly bar tattoos. Should their teammates who do have tattoos be required to use separate showering facilities, if the religious teammate objects?

“You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks upon you: I am the LORD.” Leviticus 19:28.

TheUncool
Guest
TheUncool

@CuriousCuria,

Let me put it simpler then. Forget that I even mentioned the sin (or Christian) thing.

Why might you draw a line at female vs male sharing the same shower and locker rooms, but not this? I did actually point that out in the same breath (more or less).

There are, afterall, a lot of people who are fine w/ nude beaches, which do not require one to be some sort of pro athlete to visit and enjoy. So why would most(?) draw the line there for pro athlete shower and locker rooms instead of here?

TheUncool
Guest
TheUncool

BTW, let me be clear.

I do not personally believe being naked in front of a straight person is necessarily any better or worse than being naked in front of a gay person.

I am not saying I would somehow feel violated myself if a gay person saw me naked in a shower room. Heck, that gay person might well feel more violated than me that he/she has to see me naked at all.

I am talking about finding solutions that’s workable/agreeable enough for all in light of the reality of the situation, which includes a variety of beliefs and feelings across a wide range of people. And yes, there may always be some tiny minority who will be too unhappy, etc, but that’s not the same as rejecting attempts to find some sort of middle ground and saying “my way or the highway”…

Harry Lives
Guest
Harry Lives

You have the perfect name, because all of this caveman rhetoric you’re spouting with the genuine belief that what you’re saying is reasonable makes you seriously “uncool”. There was a time when people felt uncomfortable about African Americans dining at a table beside them in a restaurant. That’s no more justification for refusing to seat African Americans than is a ballplayer’s discomfort at undressing in front of a gay man justification for forcing gay men to have separate facilities. Gay guys don’t want your straight manparts, and if you’re worried that they do, then that’s on you, not them. I can’t tell if you’re a message board troll, or an actual troll. Either way, get bent.

TheUncool
Guest
TheUncool

@Harry,

Perhaps, the fault lies in me not clarifying myself enough from the get-go.

IF you’ve read a few more of my comments, especially the last one in this subthread just ahead of yours, you will see that’s not what I’m getting at.

Heck, I thought I was reasonably quick to clarify that a workable solution doesn’t need to be what my 1st suggestion was — maybe I should’ve realized sooner I’d get this type of response, but then again, I also thought most visitors to FG are smart enough to not be quite so quick to jump the gun and keep running w/ it. Anyway, I’ll admit that may have been poor judgement on my part.

RE: TheUncool handle I (regularly) use, it’s mainly a reference to what Lester Bangs says in Almost Famous, not specific to this series of comments (although you’re probably right that it applies in this case).

TheUncool
Guest
TheUncool

Also, as I’ve hinted somewhere in these comments, if the world (and people) is perfect, nobody would feel uncomfortable being naked in front anyone else — well, that’s what I believe anyway…

Shalom…

Harry Lives
Guest
Harry Lives

Some people’s hangups just aren’t worthy of compromise, and history provides ample evidence of this. If you’re a man, and you’re uncomfortable undressing in front of gay men because they’re gay, then it’s on you to get over it. There is a workable solution to the situation: treat gay man the same as straight men, regardless of how uncomfortable it might make people feel. As far as I’m concerned, it’s the only workable solution. Ballplayers’ homophobia is not deserving of compromise.

TheUncool
Guest
TheUncool

@Harry,

You might be right that it shouldn’t matter in the long run (and I’ve hinted at that myself), but in the near term, is it right to simply force it?

Dr Art Ulene
Guest

“Beyond such, there’s no real reason why a gay man or a straight woman”

What about gay women?

thatdudekev
Guest
thatdudekev

I think a lot of the separate shower/locker room people are missing the point that gay or straight a man is a man. And within that club house those men are employees contracted to play ball. If they don’t feel comfortable having a gay dude in the clubhouse. I don’t think the holders of their contracts care. Bye. With the money these guys make to play a child’s game I don’t think many will even bat an eye if a team mate came out. And they are a piece of shit If they do, get over your self they are not hurting you.

Wally
Guest
Wally

I’ve never really understood this separate locker room thing. Like, umm guys, gay or straight, you got the same parts. What’s the big deal?

Forrest Gumption
Member
Forrest Gumption

Doesn’t the Bible preach about loving your brothers and (locker) neighbors though?

There isn’t a more hate and fear-based religion than Christianity. Plus, when is god going to show up and tell us what to do? Its been 2015 years, it ain’t happening.

Religion gives people a lot of comfort…in facing a world thats been destroyed by religion.

GoOppo
Guest
GoOppo

Be careful, I’m not sure if you’re allowed to put things so perfectly here in the comments section

TheUncool
Guest
TheUncool

Yes to that 1st question.

But what does love mean? Does that mean we must never speak from our consciences about what’s right and wrong? Does that mean we must never shown concern based on our consciences?

Sure, you may believe my conscience is faulty, but it *is* my conscience. Am I (or Torii Hunter) not allowed to have my conscience, but only some “right side of history” or whatever conscience dictated by someone else?

Not saying it’d be ok if my conscience is telling me to go kill gay people or anything remotely like that of course. But that’s also not what we’re talking about here, right?

As for your understanding of Christianity (and probably truth in general), talk about being bigoted and/or ignorant while assuming that’s what Christianity must be or how truth must work or that the Christian God must do what you suggest in order to be real.

Let me know when you’re able to readily and rigorously prove to everyone else even a fraction of the truths to which you hold. Start with proving who your great, great, great, grandfather is. And if you can’t rigorously prove who he is, does that mean you didn’t/don’t have one or that he can’t be the one? Sure, you’re probably not ready to die for that truth or the like, but surely, you don’t want other people to say bad things about him anyhow (and will continue to have whatever respect for him), right?

Eddie
Guest
Eddie

“There isn’t a more hate and fear-based religion than Christianity.”

You really aren’t all that familiar with the history of Islam, I see. Or the history of Hinduism, Buddhism, or for that matter non-theistic belief systems like Communism.

*Humans* run on hate, fear, and tribalism, and have for millenia. Singling out one group just shows your own bigotry.

Forrest Gumption
Member
Forrest Gumption

Everyone, everyone, everyone….relax. I think the concept of religion is in 2015, strictly profit-based off said fears and unknowns and has ruined the planet. ALL religions need to be made extinct.

Gay or trans people who play baseball should not have to be worried about ignorant religious nuts like Torii Hunter putting forward their beliefs on their sexuality and gender. It should be a non-issue. They see ball, they hit ball. The end.

“Does that mean we must never speak from our consciences about what’s right and wrong?” – if that means demeaning or demonizing others, then yes, you should never speak from your BIGOTED consciences about what IN YOUR OPINON is “right” and “wrong”. Shut your ignorant mouth and leave people alone.

TheUncool
Guest
TheUncool

Sigh…

It is apparently demeaning or demonizing toward others to say some people might want some privacy in relatively private spaces…

jdbolick
Member

Doesn’t the Bible preach about loving your brothers and (locker) neighbors though?

It does, indeed, but it exhorts Christians to denounce sin and turn their fellow man away from it. For instance, James 5:20 says “Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.

There isn’t a more hate and fear-based religion than Christianity.

Well that’s a mind-blowingly ridiculous claim. People like you never grasp the irony of denouncing what you consider to be hateful, bigoted ideas with hateful, bigoted ideas of your own.

Religion gives people a lot of comfort…in facing a world thats been destroyed by religion.

Religion can be perverted to evil ends, without question, but you’re blinding yourself to the numerous other forces that have been used in a similar manner. Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot adamantly opposed religion. At the risk of playing armchair psychologist, it seems like you have had some kind of bad personal experience with religion that has prompted you to blame it for most of the world’s ills. But that’s your perception, not reality.

Cool Lester Smooth
Guest
Cool Lester Smooth

Eh…there isn’t a more hate-and-fear based religion than Pauline Christianity. Actual Christianity is about being a good and loving person, just like every other religion (along with some revolutionary proto-socialism. Jesus Christ was a bro.)

Unfortunately, the only practicing version of that version of Christianity is the Unitarian Church, haha.

TheUncool
Guest
TheUncool

LOL, Cooler Lester Smooth.

We will have to disagree about what’s true Christianity and what Paul actually teaches then.

For those who actually care and would want to look it up, I would recommend checking Romans 14 (plus also 1 Corinth 13) for something Paul says that’s probably very relevant to this.

In a nutshell, he points out that believers can disagree even on something as seemingly crucial as the sabbath and food placed before idols. And he recommends following one’s own conscience if there’s disagreement and to not force our own conscience on others. And in the other passage, he recommends *always* cover everything we do in love… at least in part because we don’t know everything and thus could be mistaken, need some other guiding force besides knowing the truth or having authority, etc. And yes, he goes into detail what love looks like. What he says in those passages would seem to completely contradict various things already quoted here or there (as arguments against Christianity)… and yet, he was himself a zealot who would’ve gone out of his way to execute all those things… that is, before he became a Christian himself (and taught as he taught in the NT).

So yes, while I believe something is a sin, that doesn’t mean I want the person committing it to be condemned or similar. You could think of it as no different than if I want my own kid or kid brother to learn right from wrong. I’m not looking to condemn my kid or kid brother, and if in the long run, he will not listen to me, so be it… though I will hope that he changes his mind (and heart) before he gets into any serious trouble w/ whatever it is — and even then, I will seek to care for him even if that means visiting him in jail (or the hospital or wherever else) or helping him return to society or full health, etc. afterward.

And no, I lay no claims to being great at doing all that, but then again, I never claimed to be anything other than a sinner myself… except one who believes he’s saved by Christ.

Shalom…

PS: I sure hope I didn’t delve waaaay too deeply into religion for this comment section…

TheUncool
Guest
TheUncool

PPS: Well, ok, I did also claim to be “Bible-believing” as well…

GoOppo
Guest
GoOppo

@theuncool.There are some pretty hateful comments.. (I am not a practicing catholic anymore) and when my favorite player goes yard and points to the sky or thanks god after the game I would not call him an idiot for his beliefs. I’ve found that being comfortable in what I believe in/or dont…helps me not pile on someone for their “caveman beliefs”. once you delve into the realm of “This bible passage says such and such” or “how on earth can you believe in jesus”…you’re talking to people who will never see your side(or want to maturely debate) because they feel they’re on a higher level, intellectually, not based on your intelligence inventory. Based solely from a belief standpoint. You gotta bail at that point. Your orginal point had some merit. Obviously they picked at what seemed discriminatory (I don’t think you meant it as such. They don’t care)

jdbolick
Member

Eh…there isn’t a more hate-and-fear based religion than Pauline Christianity. Actual Christianity is about being a good and loving person, just like every other religion (along with some revolutionary proto-socialism. Jesus Christ was a bro.)

Cool Lester Smooth, I’m hoping that you’re trolling and not genuinely this ignorant. Christianity doesn’t even come remotely close to being the most “hate and fear-based religion” either in doctrine or actual practice. Furthermore, it is completely false to suggest that all religions are “about being a good and loving person.” Some religions advocate conquest and the subjugation of outsiders.

Forrest Gumption:
Again, you fail to realize that you are repeatedly espousing bigoted, ignorant comments that are “demeaning or demonizing” those with religious beliefs. You are guilty of the exact behavior you claim to deplore.

Cool Lester Smooth
Guest
Cool Lester Smooth

jd, I’ve studied religious history academically. I think Pope Francis is the man, but the Roman Catholic Church is probably the most historically malevolent, repressive institution of the last 2000 years.

Modern Christianity is something totally different, IMO, because they’ve gotten back to focusing on the stuff that guy Jesus said, but don’t even try to pretend that it was any better than Islam 1400 years after its founding.

And the only religion I’d say doesn’t necessarily boil down to being a good and loving person is Hinduism, which embraces social construction at its finest by attaching morality to performing ones proscribed societal duty.

Bip
Member
Member
Bip

It’s pretty frustrating when people think like that. His own bible tells him not to judge. He could just as easily say “For me, as a Christian, I am not in a position to judge him, so whether I like or dislike his identity doesn’t come into it, I am going to respect him regardless.”

And, of course, when it comes to some things that are actually wrong, like domestic abuse, then some of these Christians are all too happy to withhold judgment.

This is not a complaint about Christianity, or even about Christians as a group, but rather a complaint about how statements like this are so disingenuous. Torii is a homophobe; his Christianity is tangential.

TheUncool
Guest
TheUncool

Agreed. It can all be quite frustrating, especially to someone on the outside sincerely looking in trying to understand.

RE: the do not judge thing, that’s actually not quite what non-believers tend to assume AFAIK. The judgement referenced has to do w/ condemnation… rather than judging right from wrong period.

Obviously, it makes no sense to say you cannot judge right from wrong. But the reference is about assuming the role of the perfect judge, who not only judges right from wrong, but also has the responsibility to sentence and condemn.

Christians are not given that role to condemn AFAIK, but we are called to speak what we believe graciously… in no small part because we ourselves haven’t been extended grace.

But yes, some (perhaps too many) professed Christians are indeed too quick to judge *and* condemn… and I do apologize for my own part in such if/whenever I’ve done likewise…

Shalom…

highrent
Guest
highrent

Sharing a locker room with someone has nothing to do with approving their lifestyle or choices. You need to respect people no matter what their life style. Just because you disapprove doesn’t give you the right to treat people any differently si the point. That is the whole point of why people jumped on the separate facilities. Whether you approve or disapprove with what they may or may not be doing has nothing to do with them as a fellow co-worker. Its fine to have personal beliefs, if you don’t like something you are free to protest or petition but by voicing your opinions in direct or indirect action to a fellow co-worker whether by avoiding them or demanding separate facilities for them that is clearly sending a message to them that interferes with their well being and professional career. Keep religion and politics out of the work place so you and your fellow co-workers can work in peace. If you don’t agree with LGBT laws then protest against them, you are very likely in the minority but that is your right just like those who still believe in creationism and a flat earth. You are free to do anything you want as long as it doesn’t violate the law and infringe ont he safety and freedom of others.

TheUncool
Guest
TheUncool

@HighRent,

As I suggested, does your logic apply to female athletes who’d want separate facilities too because the existing shower room and locker room culture is what it is?

As I subsequently clarified, having separate facilities might not be the only solution. Also, if nobody will actually be bothered, then fine. But don’t just jump to the conclusion that nobody *should* be bothered in such private spaces.

You don’t have to be particularly religious to believe somethings would need to change in order to accommodate the inclusion of LGBT people afterall, do you?

Bip
Member
Member
Bip

That’s my point. Torii thinks it’s wrong to be gay, as do many other Christians. Most of them, in my opinion, feel this way because they were raised to, and not because they studied their bible and formed their opinions from what they believe the word of god to be. However, they are all too happy to quote the bible when it confirms what they already think.

If he really derived his ideas of what’s right and wrong from the bible, he might still feel it’s wrong to be gay, but he would also recognize he has no business making someone feel unwelcome about something that doesn’t concern him.

Now, I could also criticize him for thinking it’s wrong to be gay – something that is basically indefensible at this point – but it’s more fun to criticize him for being a hypocrite.

TheUncool
Guest
TheUncool

I don’t honestly know Torii Hunter’s precise rationale for what’s said in that one quote. It’s actually rather vague.

He could be like me or like someone more clearly to the (far) right of center or the like.

But either way, although I agree LGBT people should be allowed to play baseball in MLB just like straight men (and women for that matter). I disagree w/ the notion that straight men must be forced to share shower rooms and locker rooms w/ gay men given the existing cultural norm of shower and locker rooms AFAIK them. That was my main point.

I guess I could’ve probably said that w/out mentioning the sin thing, but the point of mentioning it was more to help explain the Christian POV a bit more… although yes, not every professing Christian has the exact same understanding.

Bip
Member
Member
Bip

I’m not really sure what your bathroom policy has to do with sin, Christianity, or anything really.

Separate bathrooms are necessary because there are a lot of men out there around whom women have good reason not feel comfortable and safe. If there was a need for separate locker rooms, it would be in the case where the gay player was threatened by the straight players, not because the straight players were uncomfortable. If the gay player made the straight players purposely uncomfortable by doing something sexual, he would be liable for sexual harassment, just like any other person would be if they did so. If he goes about his business in the shower, like all major league players would, then a straight player’s imagined discomfort is not reason for segregation.

TheUncool
Guest
TheUncool

Unfortunately, it does get more complicated if we delve into the sin issue anymore deeply.

So far, most everyone seems to assume any talk of “sin” will only refer to the gay person (for being gay). But that’s actually untrue. The concept of sin in the (Biblically grounded) Christian faith goes far beyond that, and I sort of hinted at that w/ comments about how things were before the Fall (in Eden).

Sin (as part of human nature) is also a deception thing, a twisting of the truth. Yes, bear w/ me on this concept for a moment.

Consider the ideas conveyed in the movie, the Matrix. Sin is in a sense something pulled over our eyes just like the Matrix. We see everything thru that lens, that perception of reality. And because of that, yes, we do hold certain irrational fears, hate, etc. We can also “love” in less than ideal ways too as a result (and not realize it).

So yes, is it possible that Torii Hunter or someone else is actually harboring sin-induced fears/discomforts (as some may have suggested w/out calling it sin)? Quite possible, but it’s very hard to be certain. And at the end of the day, given the realities of imperfect people (and finite knowledge), which includes every last one of us, it’s best not to go too far w/ trying to judge him (or somewhere else) for it, especially if/when there’s so much disagreement (and his intention really does not seem to be to cause harm to anyone).

In practice, it’s usually better to simply allow everyone enough freedom and space to work out their disagreements. That’s at least partly why it’s good we have freedom of religion. But some people seem to assume they know everything about the other side(s) and refuse to discuss and find workable solutions.

TheUncool
Guest
TheUncool

One thing I forgot to mention re: the deception concept, but I had alluded previously.

Why did Adam & Eve not even realize they were nude before the Fall? Why didn’t it bother them? Why are we bothered by nudity today?

In that sense, original sin has probably twisted just about *all* of our perceptions of nudity… although we may have gradually shifted away from some of the ill effects over the centuries as we become more “enlightened”.

Of course, this concept is just one way of understanding what we see in reality… and maybe not all Christians will agree w/ it, let alone non-Christians…

jdbolick
Member

So what exactly is wrong with what Hunter said? That’s the part I don’t get. The mob is busy with its torches and pitchforks because he was honest about what his religion taught him.

Bip
Member
Member
Bip

Because it’s hypocritical. His own religion is not instructing him to reject a person. He is uncomfortable around gay people and is hiding behind religion.

But, also, assuming he was genuinely representing his beliefs, discriminating against someone because it’s written in some 2000 year old book is pretty terrible also. Our collective moral consciousness has had many thousands of years of human history from which to evolve, and he’s purposely rejecting all that, at the expense of people’s ability to live openly as who they are. That’s pretty terrible on its own.

TheUncool
Guest
TheUncool

And why are you holding Torii Hunter to such high standards just because he says he’s a Christian and was taught some things about being one?

Is he not allowed to feel uncomfortable at all even if it’s irrational?

Since when is rationality an absolute prerequisite for allowing people to feel uncomfortable about something?

Sure, you may wish to teach/show him otherwise, but why should he be forced in the manner demanded?

Must we all really fall in line w/ the political correct doctrine of the day or lose our jobs if we don’t?

Do you simply always force your kids to do what you believe right rather than teach/show them and give them some space to learn and grow, including making some mistakes in the process? And what if you’re actually wrong for a change?

jdbolick
Member

Bip, it’s not hypocritical. As I quoted above regarding the passage in James, the Bible actually directs adherents to speak out against sin and to turn sinners from their ways. You might find it odd or even obnoxious, but it isn’t in any way hypocritical. You only think so because you don’t understand Christianity.

cubfan131
Member
cubfan131

So he should be just as uncomfortable around any teammates who curse or cheat on their spouses since sins are no different in god’s eyes

TheUncool
Guest
TheUncool

At a purely rational level, you’re more or less correct — let’s for a moment assume God could be real.

But we don’t anyone of us AFAIK operate only on a purely rational level though.

And it doesn’t have to be a “phobia” — at least the kind people tend to assume — that too many liberals seem to assume or want to smear everyone on the other side.

I mean. You’re not really gonna label a woman male-phobic for not being comfortable sharing a shower room w/ men, even if there’s plenty of security to help ensure nothing bad will happen to her, right?

Yeah, on a purely technical, rational level, I guess you call say at least some of the uncomfortable feeling is due to unnecessary fear, but it might not be anymore so than usual though…

Personally, as I suggested elsewhere, I don’t believe I would personally be any more or less comfortable being naked in front of a straight man or a gay man despite what most everyone have probably assumed about me before my last few comments…

jdbolick
Member

Sure, and there have been plenty of examples throughout the decades of clubhouse friction along those lines.

Charlie Hough Fastball
Guest
Charlie Hough Fastball

It’s hard to call Torii Hunter “among baseball’s most thoughtful and intelligent players” and then mention how he’s a Christian and he can’t handle being around someone that is gay.

I like Torii and think he’s a great ambassador for the game. By all accounts he’s a great dude, but I wouldn’t call him thoughtful and intelligent if he can’t get around such a basic issue.