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 #10 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: An Issues Discussion With Paul Dolan – Dolan is the Cleveland Indians Owner and CEO. He discusses the use of Native American names and logos by sports teams and the decisions to drop the Chief Wahoo logo and the upcoming change to the team name. Other baseball topics include health and safety, possible MLB rule changes and youth participation in the sport.
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Episode #9 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports Issues With Ralph Nader – Nader is a consumer advocate and was named one of the “100 Most Influential Americans of the 20th Century” by Time magazine. He is the founder of League of Fans.
Episode #8 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Save College Sports From Overcommercialization and Professionalization? – The guest is Dr. David Ridpath, a sports business professor and past president of the Drake Group
Episode #7 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Brain Trauma and CTE Risk in Sports With Dr. Ann McKee – Dr. McKee works in the field of neuropathology and has demonstrated that “mild” repetitive head trauma can provoke chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a devastating neurodegenerative disease.
Episode #6 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Need for Quality Physical Education in Our Schools is Greater Than Ever – The guest is Clayton Ellis, one of our nation’s leading advocates for getting our young people to be more physically active.
Episode #5 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Youth Sports with Positive Coaching Alliance Founder Jim Thompson – Thompson started Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) in 1998 to help create a movement to transform the culture of youth sports from “win-at-all-costs” to a positive, character-building experience.
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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