Former MLB veteran turned baseball’s Inclusion Ambassador Billy Bean (above) visited Mets camp in St. Lucie Tuesday, leading to some highly publicized remarks from 2B Daniel Murphy, who while professing a willingness to welcome a future gay teammate with open arms, had the following to say to the Star-Ledger’s Mike Vorkunov :

Murphy, a devout Christian, said he would embrace Bean despite a divergence in their beliefs.

“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.”

Though I have no interest in belittling Murphy’s faith, I’m of the opinion his religious beliefs are far more of a lifestyle choice than Bean’s sexuality. Matt Ginter running around the clubhouse with a banjo and a crossbow is a lifestyle choice. Mike Piazza’s wearing of Affliction tees and hanging with Eddie Trunk are lifestyle choices. Bean being gay is no more or less a lifestyle than Daniel Murphy being white.

Writing for, Bean takes a far more diplomatic approach to the matter, expressing his “tremendous admiration and respect for Daniel Murphy as a family man.”

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.

The silver lining in his comments are that he would be open to investing in a relationship with a teammate, even if he “disagrees” with the lifestyle. 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.

Whether he realizes it or not, Murphy has probably already played alongside a gay teammate. He might’ve even played for a gay coach or manager, or been interviewed by a gay sportswriter or broadcaster. He’s certainly plying his trade in front of gay paying customers. No one is quizzing any of them about the awkwardness of accepting heterosexuals or whether or not they “agree” with heterosexuality.