OMG! How shocking! There’s an active gay baseball player! Well, of course there is! There have been more than one or two gay baseball players over the past century and a half, that’s a fact whether people talk about it or not. There are two – well three now – that we know of but everyone must know that there are probably hundreds more who have kept their sexuality in the closet.
Glenn Burke, who played for the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Oakland Athletics in the late 1970’s revealed that he was homosexual in 1982, after he had retired from the sport. MLB’s Ambassador of Inclusion, Billy Bean (no, not that Billy – Bean without the “e”) – came out after his retirement as well and was given his current title within Major League Baseball by former MLB Commissioner Bud Selig. Just as his title suggests he encourages homosexual baseball players to be true to who they are and not be afraid of the perceptions of others.
One young man in the Milwaukee Brewer’s Rookie League affiliate in Helena, Montana, became the first professional baseball player to just that on Saturday. David Denson told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Tom Haurdicourt that he was gay, becoming the first active player affiliated with a big league club that has come out. Lucky for Denson, his teammates supported him and his decision.
“Talking with my teammates, they gave me the confidence I needed, coming out to them,” Denson said. “They said, ‘You’re still our teammate. You’re still our brother. We kind of had an idea, but your sexuality has nothing to do with your ability. You’re still a ballplayer at the end of the day. We don’t treat you any different. We’ve got your back.’
“That was a giant relief for me. I never wanted to feel like I was forcing it on them. It just happened. The outcome was amazing. It was nice to know my teammates see me for who I am, not my sexuality.”
Denson was very brave and I hope more players who are still in the closet will follow suit. It’s 2015! Come on people – some people are homosexual and some people are heterosexual, it’s like that in most every species on the planet! Get over it. And if you can’t I don’t want to hear about it! This is yet another step forward for Major League Baseball and the LGBT community.
The Oakland Athletics’ celebrated their first ever LGBT Pride Night at the Coliseum on June 17 and the wonderful Eireann Dolan, girlfriend of A’s closer Sean Doolittle, revealed to the world that she grew up with two moms, in response to some season ticket holders who were to put it nicely, were a bit too close minded to understand the meaning of the word “EQUALITY.”
She offered to buy tickets from anyone who had them and felt uncomfortable going to the Coliseum that night. It turned into much more than that but that’s another story.
My point is just that more teams should be open to equality and celebrate diversity. Maybe then more players could be as Brave as Denson was, stop hiding and be their true selves. It’s just one kid in the Rookie League some of you might say – but it’s a huge step in the correct direction for Major League Baseball as well as a step in U.S. history that could help shape the future.