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 #28 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Chat With Mano Watsa, a Leading Basketball and Life Educator – Watsa is President of PGC Basketball, the largest education basketball camp in the world, with over 150 camps in 30+ U.S. states and Canada. We discuss problems in youth sports today, including single sport specialization, the growing gap between the “haves” and “have-nots,” the high drop-out rate in competitive sports, and the growing mental health challenges young athletes are dealing with today.
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Episode #27 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Kids’ Sports: How We Can Take Back the Game and Restore Quality Family Time In the Process – Linda Flanagan is author of “Take Back the Game: How Money and Mania Are Ruining Kids’ Sports and Why It Matters.” We discuss how commercialized and professionalized youth sports are hurting kids and their families.
Episode #26 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Fix Youth Sports? – John O’Sullivan is Founder and CEO of Changing the Game Project and author of “Changing the Game: The Parents Guide to Raising Happy, High Performing Athletes and Giving Youth Sports Back to Our Kids.”
Episode #25 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Physical Education Should Be a Critical Component of K-12 School Design – Michael Horn is co-founder of the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation.
Episode #24 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Mental Health and Athletes: Ending the Stigma – Nathan Braaten and Taylor Ricci are the founders of Dam Worth It, a non-profit created to end the stigma around mental health at colleges and universities through sport, storytelling, and community creation.
Episode #23 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Olympian Benita Fitzgerald Mosley Talks Title IX, Youth Sports and the Olympics.
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.
- League of Fans Sports Policy Director Ken Reed quoted in Washington Post column titled "What happened to P.E.? It’s losing ground in our push for academic improvement," by Jay Mathews
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.
Vanderbilt Sport & Society - On The Ball with Andrew Maraniss with guest Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director for League of Fans and author of How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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