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Friday, October 24, 2014

Torii Hunter: Gay teammate would be ‘difficult and uncomfortable’

Society has progressed when it comes to accepting people for who they are regardless of sexual preference, but sports locker rooms are still a place that have a ways to go.

Boxer Orlando Cruz recently revealed that he is gay, but there has yet to be an NFL, MLB, or NBA player who has come out while he was playing. Houston Texans running back Arian Foster feels people are more accepting these days and doesn’t think it will be much longer before a football player comes out. Athletes who were considering making such a bold move might think again after reading Torii Hunter’s comments.

Hunter is a four-time All-Star and has played in the majors since 1997. He was considered a clubhouse leader with the Minnesota Twins and Los Angeles Angels, and he told the Los Angeles Times that having a gay teammate would be “difficult and uncomfortable.”

“For me, as a Christian … I will be uncomfortable because in all my teachings and all my learning, biblically, it’s not right,” Hunter told the Times. “It will be difficult and uncomfortable.”

Kevin Baxter, who wrote a lengthy piece for the Times on gays in sports, described Hunter as saying that a gay teammate could divide a team.

It’s a disappointing view from someone who seems to be so great at uniting his teammates. One would think that players would accept a teammate no matter what if the player helped them win games. Perhaps Hunter would change his mind if he learned that one of his past teammates was gay, or if a prominent player came out.

Even though many NFL players have recently said they would not have a problem with a gay teammate, the comments of Hunter and someone like Falcons receiver Roddy White tells us there would still be plenty of skepticism.

UPDATE: Hunter says he was misquoted by the writer.

H/T Eye on Baseball
Photo credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE



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