By Ken Reed
Why do people who are anti-gay continue to use the “lifestyle” reason as the basis for their stance? As in “I disapprove of their lifestyle.”
The New York Mets’ Daniel Murphy played the “lifestyle” card recently after Billy Bean, a gay former Major League Baseball (MLB) player who is now MLB’s Inclusion Ambassador, visited the Mets training camp.
“I disagree with his lifestyle,” said Murphy.
“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.”
Hello people! This isn’t a choice! You can choose to live an active lifestyle and exercise regularly, but you can’t choose your sexuality. Did you choose to be straight? Did you go outside for a walk one day and at some point on your stroll choose whether to be attracted to men or women?
Alexander Goot, in an excellent piece for Fansided, wrote that whenever people use the “love the sinner, hate the sin” argument when it comes to homosexulity, “what they are actually saying is that they disagree with a person, with their essence, with the very fiber of their being. And they are saying it not just to Billy Bean, but to every LGBT individual who might be listening.”
Billy Bean had a terrific column on MLB.com in response to Murphy’s comments.
“I appreciate that Daniel spoke his truth,” wrote Bean.
“I really do. I was visiting his team, and a reporter asked his opinion about me. He was brave to share his feelings … 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.
“Inclusion means everyone, plain and simple. Daniel is part of that group. A major league clubhouse is now one of the most diverse places in sports. It wasn’t always that way, but we can thank No. 42 for that. So, in his honor, with a little patience, compassion and hard work, we’ll get there.”
Well done, Mr. Bean.
After reading Bean’s essay and watching the MLB Network documentary on him a week ago, I’m convinced Billy Bean was a fabulous hire as Inclusion Ambassador for Major League Baseball.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #17 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports With Legendary New York Times Sports Columnist Robert Lipsyte – We chat about Lipsyte’s amazing career and some of the athletes he covered and got to know well, like Muhammad Ali, as well as his relationships with fellow sports journalists like Bob Costas and Howard Cosell.
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Episode #16 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Andrew Maraniss: Outstanding Author of Books That Focus On the Intersection of Sports, History and Social Justice.
Episode #15 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports Psychology with Dr. Tim Rice. We discuss the growth of sports psychology at all levels, the positive impact that a number of high profile athletes have had by opening up, and the importance of everyone involved in sports caring for the whole athlete, mind and body.
Episode #14 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Making Sense of the Injury Pandemic in Major League Baseball – Gary McCoy is a strength, conditioning and high performance coach who has worked with several Major League Baseball organizations.
Episode #13 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Conversation With Long-Time MLB Exec Dan Evans About What’s Right With Baseball and What Could Be Better – Evans is a former general manager for the Los Angeles Dodgers and is currently a consultant for Go the Distance Baseball, which owns the Field of Dreams movie site.
Episode #12 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Fun Chat With Dan Gutman, Author of the Baseball Card Adventure Series for Kids
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
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