On Tuesday, MLB executive Billy Bean visited the Mets in spring training. Bean -- not to be confused with Athletics GM Billy Beane -- is openly gay and MLB's Ambassador of Inclusion, meaning he provides "guidance and training related to efforts to support those in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community" throughout baseball.
"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."
"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 about 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."
Needless to say, Murphy's comments were a hot topic the rest of the day Tuesday. In an article on MLB.com, Bean offered a response Wednesday and said he has "tremendous admiration and respect for Daniel Murphy as a family man." Here's more from Bean:
When I took this job at MLB, I knew it was going to take time for many to embrace my message of inclusion. Expecting everyone to be supportive right away is simply not realistic. If you asked anyone who has competed in high-level men's professional sports, I believe they would agree with me. This doesn't change the way I go about my business, or my belief in what I am doing, but it's reality.
After reading his comments, I appreciate that Daniel spoke his truth. I really do. I was visiting his team, and a reporter asked his opinion about me. He was brave to share his feelings, and it made me want to work harder and be a better example that someday might allow him to view things from my perspective, if only for just a moment.
I respect him, and I want everyone to know that he was respectful of me. We have baseball in common, and for now, that might be the only thing. But it's a start.
Bean adds that it "took me 32 years to fully accept my sexual orientation, so it would be hypocritical of me to not be patient with others." He's also happy Murphy is open to creating a relationship with a gay teammate.
Bean was in camp with the Mets after being invited by GM Sandy Alderson.