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Torii Hunter says having an openly gay teammate would be “difficult and uncomfortable”

Dec 30, 2012, 6:03 PM EDT

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The math says that Torii Hunter — a 16-year major league veteran who has played with several hundred different teammates over the course of his amateur and professional baseball careers — has probably shared a clubhouse with a gay man. But math and science and reality aren’t things that the 37-year-old outfielder chooses to dabble in. Neither is decency.

This comes from an article on sexual orientation in the realm of high-level professional sports, written by Kevin Baxter of the Los Angeles Times:

Former Angels outfielder Torii Hunter, among baseball’s most thoughtful and intelligent players, isn’t kidding when he says an “out” teammate could divide a team.

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

Difficult and uncomfortable? Poor Torii.

The New Testament spends many more pages preaching love and acceptance than it does condemning homosexuality, and it’s quotes like Hunter’s that will prevent any true progress from happening in MLB.

Then again, we can’t expect a known conspiracy theorist to think — or speak — logically.

352 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. mrunner31 - Dec 31, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    Ugh Drew. Decency? The guy has been one of the most decent guys to ever play the game. Coming from less than nothing, helping underpriveledged children and many other things. As a Christian theology major in my undergrad, thanks for your opinion on the NT. Unfortunately, for a Bible following Christian there are some issues. It doesn’t make one not loving or homophobic. I have plenty of gay friends and we discuss these things all of the time. He is saying, honestly, what a lot of other pro players have said more harshly… it will be a problem. That is just honest. The 4 major sports are currently “manly”. There is a reason why the gay players don’t yet come out. As with Jackie Robinson, like it or not Drew, the reality is that there is going to be an adjustment period. I’m not a homophobe, but of course many “manly” football player types probably are. However, what Torii says about Biblical beliefs is hardly a new topic. Because someone believes it is what their religion teaches, in this case Christianity, it in no way means we should hate gays… quite the opposite in fact. We are to love everybody. It just isn’t fair to call someone names who has done so much good because they have an opinion that is held by orthodox Christianity. Sorry and I know that is not PC. Bottom line, he was honest, and I think a lot of other players who will keep their mouths shut are going to have a bigger problem than Torii who by all accounts is a really good guy. Of course I think gay people should be able to admit it in sports like anywhere else but it is going to take some time due to the culture. Toughness and sports ability have nothing to do with being gay or straight quite obviously. What he is saying is A. It is going to be tough for some because of their beliefs, B. It is going to be uncomfortable. It will be… for a while…

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 31, 2012 at 2:29 PM

      The problem is he’s picking his issues from a fictional book and applying them to his life, and not being outraged by other issues the fictional book discusses. Why doesn’t he care about adulterers, or wife beaters, or any number of people who sin from the link I posted on the first page? If he doesn’t have an issue(s) with those, he’s a hypocrite because the fictional book says those sins are just as bad.

      Now, if it’s a personal thing, fine and say it’s a personal thing. He’s still wrong, and he’s a bit more hypocritical, but at least he’s not hiding behind religion as a basis for it.

      • gginiel - Dec 31, 2012 at 4:03 PM

        The Bible is not a fictional book and homosexuality is not a normal function for any life form!
        The creation of our population is predicated upon one man and one woman coming together to create life. It is not for two men or two women to adopt children so they can try to perpetuate the species. If you ever find the true GOD you will know this to be true. Otherwise your freedom of speech is not welcome here and your belief system is certainly twisted.

        Homosexuals have been around for a very long time so if that lifestyle and or choice were a feasible one it would have proliferated but it has not! Meaning your lifestyle or choice is a living testament to extinction. Oh and a one way, it is a one way ticket to eternal damnation.

        Grow up,,, wife beaters as well as husband beaters, adulterers, murders, and so on are on the same path as your homosexual agenda.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 31, 2012 at 8:09 PM

        The Bible is not a fictional book and homosexuality is not a normal function for any life form!</blockquote.

        So a book that proclaims the world is 6000 years old, has two different "creation" stories (P & F), thinks a man lived over 900 years (methusaleh), believes Solomon had 900 wives, thinks a man raping a virgin and marrying her absolves him of sin, thinks selling children into slavery is ok, etc is a book of truth? How delusional are you?

        If you ever find the true GOD you will know this to be true. Otherwise your freedom of speech is not welcome here and your belief system is certainly twisted.

        Just answered my question regarding delusion. Didn’t realize we were speaking to Congress here. Or is your inability to understand the Bill of Rights a function of your education?

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 31, 2012 at 8:11 PM

        ugh formatting fail, let’s try this again:

        The Bible is not a fictional book and homosexuality is not a normal function for any life form!

        So a book that proclaims the world is 6000 years old, has two different “creation” stories (P & F), thinks a man lived over 900 years (methusaleh), believes Solomon had 900 wives, thinks a man raping a virgin and marrying her absolves him of sin, thinks selling children into slavery is ok, etc is a book of truth? How delusional are you?

        If you ever find the true GOD you will know this to be true. Otherwise your freedom of speech is not welcome here and your belief system is certainly twisted.

        Just answered my question regarding delusion. Didn’t realize we were speaking to Congress here. Or is your inability to understand the Bill of Rights a function of your education?

    • goosepond - Dec 31, 2012 at 3:11 PM

      Drew Silva shut up! What do you stand behind? You would drop trouser, bend over and stand behind any side if it meant getting a story and a good read. There is nothing wrong with what Torii Hunter said. He is being true to his feelings and if gay people can’t handle it tough! They don’t care about offending moral people with their Gay Marches and their Gay Marriages and their Gay Public Overtures. Stop crucifying someone just because what he says goes against the new normal and speaks out against the indecent behavior. At least he is man enough to voice and stand by his beliefs even if it means public ridicule and persecution. I doubt anyone could say the same of you.

      • goosepond - Dec 31, 2012 at 3:15 PM

        And why are creeps like you even writing a story like this?!! Are you that desperate to get some readers that you have to cross the boundaries of decency and crucify and innocent person? You’re a jerk Silva!

    • stilcello - Dec 31, 2012 at 3:48 PM

      I can accept that Torii Hunter gave an honest answer from the point of view of his own beliefs. The problem here is that he answers mostly, I think, from the point of view “well we haven’t had to deal with it yet, and I hope we don’t” His answer smacks of “I don’t like to have to deal with homosexuality, and sure hope I will not have to while I am still playing.”.
      The reality of the situation is that he probably has a gay teammate or two and doesn’t realize it. His own attitudes are forcing these team mates to have to hide who they are, and feel not entirely accepted by their team mates. His answer makes him part of the problem.
      Let’s get over this whole thing and accept that there have been , are , and will be gay baseball players. I would hope that Torii, being a christian would probably find a way to deal with this from a team mate in a healthy way, demonstrating love and acceptance to the player rather than ostracizing him.
      Honestly, there would probably be a range of responses from a team after finding out one of their team is gay. This would probably be somewhat similar to what Jackie Robinson went through with his team mates. Over time more were won over.

      The reality is there are gay MLB players. The right question is what can be done by teams to help these players experience a more normal and accepting life as a MLB player.
      I am sure that some players have been able to come out to others on their team who have assured them of support. Other players have felt estranged, and alone, and probably hid as far in the closet as humanly possible – perhaps even marrying for show to hide who they are.

  2. ken1lutheran - Dec 31, 2012 at 3:09 PM

    The writer of the article exhibits little understanding of what the New Testament does and does not teach. Yes, we learn that we are to love each other. That does not mean that we are to engage in homosexual intercourse with each other, nor to bless homosexuality or purported marriages between homosexuals. Indeed, to bless someone in his sin is not love. It is permitting him to run blindly into perdition. Love calls for repentance.

    In the New Testament, St. Paul writes that homosexuality is a “vile affection”, and says that it “exchanges the natural use for the unnatural.” He writes elsewhere that neither the “soft” (then,catamites, now, drag queens) nor “those who have sex with men” (homosexuals generally) will enter the kingdom of heaven. He follows that comment with the further remark “And such were some of you.” In other words, there is repentance.

    The snide, sneering tone of the article betrays a lack of love and sensitivity on the part of its writer, not on the part of Mr. Hunter, a great baseball player coming to the end of his career. It is Drew Silva, not Torii Hunter, who needs to show increased love and tolerance in his life.

    • goosepond - Dec 31, 2012 at 4:18 PM

      @Ken1lutheran You said “The snide, sneering tone of the article betrays a lack of love and sensitivity on the part of its writer, not on the part of Mr. Hunter, a great baseball player coming to the end of his career. It is Drew Silva, not Torii Hunter, who needs to show increased love and tolerance in his life.”

      And I could not have said it any better! You nailed it right on the head! The pathetic writer of this, I won’t even call it an article, a small minded diatribe is more like what it is, shows he is the one with the issues and not Torii Hunter. He, Silva, is condemning Torii Hunter for crimes he is guilty of. Kudos Ken1Lutheran!!

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 31, 2012 at 8:13 PM

      In the New Testament, St. Paul writes…

      In SpiderMan comics, Peter Parker writes that with great power comes great responsibility. Does that mean I have to follow his advice too since it’s written down?

      • yahmule - Jan 1, 2013 at 1:59 AM

        Stan Lee wrote that.

    • easttoak - Jan 1, 2013 at 4:22 PM

      Whenever someone doesn’t like another persons view of the Bible, they ALWAYS say they “exhibit little understanding”. Like the Bible is really a very clear document that doesn’t contradict itself (and many Christians way of day to day living) constantly. There are plenty of Christians (and many clergy) who disagree with your interpretation. What do you say to them?

      • protius - Jan 2, 2013 at 6:53 AM

        easttoak:

        I’d say it’s clear that you have no tolerance for people of the Christian faith. In fact, I’d say that you have no tolerance for any religious belief system or it’s members.

    • judahbenhur - Jan 4, 2013 at 2:43 PM

      There is actually very little in the bible discussing homosexuality. What is there is often open to interpretation. If homosexuality is a sin against God why isn’t it one of the 10 commandments? Why are there no sermons by Jesus discussing homosexuality and that it is wrong? A quote from Leviticus is not enough to condemn homosexual behavior in 2013, and the words of Leviticus are not the words of Jesus or God. It seems like a linear dogmatic line of analysis for so many people to subordinate their personal feelings to an open to interpretation teaching in the bible. The Bible states very clearly that we are born in the image and likeness of God. It also says to love one and other, and he who is without sin should cast the first stone. So if homosexuality is indeed a sin, why is that sin so much more egregious to Torii Hunter and others than let’s say, cheating on their wives, which ballplayers are notorious for. Why aren’tt they horrified at A-Rod running around on his wife, and now spending time publicly with any number of women and having pre-marital sex instead of spending time with his children. Seems we are being awfully selective in which sins we are okay with and which ones we aren’t. Not cheating on your wife is one of the 10 commandments, but homosexuality is not. I respect every Christian’s ability to believe what they want, but not at the expense of others to live their lives without being arbitrarily ostracized.

      I do think Torii Hunter is a good guy in general and should not be beaten up quite so harshly. His opinion is the prevalent opinion in the black community, the same community that has a lot of people leading double lives on the down-low.

  3. R.D. Frable ♞ - Dec 31, 2012 at 3:33 PM

    Uhhh… unless Mr Hunter actually knows (of) gay people who’ve attempted sexual advances against him, and reports those advances to the appropriate officials, whether they’re from his team, MLB, or a law-enforcement entity, this isn’t a story.

  4. jessethegreat - Dec 31, 2012 at 4:53 PM

    Hats off to Torii for having the balls and respect for his religious beliefs to actually say what most of us are thinking.

    Getting damn tired of the media pointing fingers and calling you a racist, sexist and everything less than human for not being down with homosexuality. Don’t look down at Torii. Look down at those with the immoral beliefs.

    • easttoak - Jan 1, 2013 at 4:24 PM

      So, you want the right to call others immoral but don’t want anyone pointing the finger at you? I think there is a word for that…

      • protius - Jan 2, 2013 at 6:45 AM

        You’re making a straw man argument. You’re creating a false scenario, and assigning it to Torii Hunter.

        I did not read anywhere that Hunter wanted any additional rights to do or say anything. Furthermore, there is nothing in the news that indicates that Hunter is avoiding discussion about his comments. If you have proof that he did, then please present it.

        BTW: There is a word for you…..

  5. norman854 - Dec 31, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    With all due respect, Mr. Silva, your viewpoint is dead wrong. I can’t believe that your main argument is that the Bible focuses more attention on love than on homosexuality. Really!? That doesn’t even make sense. Have we really sunk to the childish logic of using the number of pages to determine whether the Bible means what it says? How much can the BIble actually say about it? God leaves absolutely no room for debate about the rights or wrongs of homosexuality. Instead, he condemns it as one of the most vile sins imaginable. After all, another name for homosexuality is sodomy and the city from which it received its name was totally destroyed by God, along with all of its inhabitants, other than Lot and his whole family. Also, condemning homosexuality does not imply a hatred or lack of love towards the person practicing it. The two things are not mutually dependent. If Mr. Hunter is of the opinion that homosexuality is wrong, and even punishable by God, well then wouldn’t it be far more hateful to just let a person continue in their sin without warning them? I for one would like to be warned about all my sins, if the alternative is spending eternity in hell. One would think that someone who writes articles like this would stop to thoroughly think about what they are going to write first, but apparently that is asking too much. You can do better than this garbage. Why not write about how he can affect the Tigers lineup, or provide some improved defense in the outfield. At least that might be of some use to us Detroit fans, rather than having to listen to your hypocritical crap calling for tolerance when you don’t bother to show any yourself. Again, maybe that is asking too much.

    • easttoak - Jan 1, 2013 at 4:35 PM

      If all the sins are equal, why is it so many Christians (or so-called Christians) spend their time, money and energy fighting just a few key ones such as homosexual? Not surprisingly, the same sins that don’t apply to them personally.

      Divorce and adultery? Christians don’t have time to fight these! What they DO have is time to participate in them. And then they assure that there are no CIVIL CONSEQUENCE for these actions. Hypocrisy at its finest.

      • protius - Jan 2, 2013 at 6:37 AM

        easttoak:

        You’re begging the question. You’re assuming that all the sins are equal. They’re not You also don’t seem very familiar with Ancient History.

        Jews, Christians an Muslims have been spending their time, energy and money fighting rape, murder, robbery, etc, etc throughout history. In comparison, there are far fewer stories in the historical record, like the Koran, the Old Testament and the New Testament for example, of the ancients “fighting” homosexuality.

        Clearly, you don’t know what you’re talking about. Your idea that these same sins don’t apply to Christians personally, is absurd. These laws were written by Christians to police Christians. You know even less about ancient laws re: Divorce and adultery. Maybe you should stick to reading these comments, because you’re making a real fool of yourself writing about the Christian belief system.

  6. wgray981 - Dec 31, 2012 at 5:32 PM

    THIS IS A BLOG ABOUT BASEBALL, NOT ABOUT POLITICS OR MARRIAGE OR ANYTHING OF THE SORT. Shame on SportsTalk for posting this.

  7. titansrst - Dec 31, 2012 at 5:33 PM

    Why is it that so many consider Tori Hunter’s comments so horrific? he is telling the truth from a deeply personal perspecive, and it is not up to us to say he is right or wrong. Homosexuality is one hell of an issue in that most of us don’t understand the whys of what is either a choice of behavior or something inherent in the genes of so many. Only God knows the truth behind this and we should stop comdeming people on both sides of the aisle for their feelings on the matter. I do not condone the hate factor is wrong no matter what, but Hunter is not preaching hate. The locker room issu is a tough one. I coached girls fastpitch for 12 years and my older girls often spoke out with fears about being approached by lesbians. Many of the best female athletes are lesbians. I listened intently but believed much of their fears were unfounded. But I did not put them down for their fears. We should respect each other’s opinions and move on. I straddle the fence on the matter because I don’t fully understand it and choose to leave it in God’s hands. I will say this: some of the most caring and wonderful people are homosexual and some of the world’s biggest scumbags are so-called normal folks. My question: who gets to Heaven first?

    • goosepond - Dec 31, 2012 at 7:55 PM

      The point is, this idiot writer for the sake of a story was taking Torii Hunters words out of context and trying to paint him as a hateful homophobe while adding his own spin on Torii’s intent just to stir a pot that is already at a social boil. People like this jerk journalist are not out to write facts or report stories they are out to create them and unfortunately there are a lot of stupid people out there who let garbage write ups like this influence them all the while justifying their perversions as being open minded and enlightened. Torii Hunter said NOTHING caustic or injurious to anyone he simply stated his feelings! I can relate to them too! I know I would not feel comfortable around a bunch of men in the locker room who might be checking me out in the locker room and shower or trying to get a peek at the urinal! Yeah and if people are gay that is fine I really don’t care as long as they keep their stuff private instead of purposely shoving and forcing their depraved ways upon those of us who are offended by them. There is no need to march, or demand same sex marriages or act like wild animals in public it is offensive. No one wants to see that lewd behavior and if Drew Silva can’t understand that then he is the one who is the cancer in modern day society not people in the likes of Torii Hunter!!!

  8. dx2006 - Dec 31, 2012 at 7:25 PM

    Torii’s comments and the comments on this article are depressing. Homosexual or heterosexual simply does not matter. The Bible teaches that many things are “not right.” Does Torii have a problem with non-Christians in his clubhouse? Does he have a problem with teammates who are openly unfaithful to their spouses? I have no doubt he’s encountered plenty of them in his years as a professional athlete, but I’m willing to bet he never took issue and I’ve never seen him speak out about that scourge of immoral behavior.

    After the repeal of DADT our military has had no problem integrating people of any sexual orientation who rely on each other for support in life-or-death situations. If it isn’t a problem for them I don’t see how it should be a problem for baseball.

    • easttoak - Jan 1, 2013 at 4:58 PM

      I agree completely with your comment. I don’t believe 75% of people who say “it is not right” care one bit about the religious aspect of this issue. People who have a problem with gay folks (or pretty much anyone who is ‘different’) are always looking for any excuse they can to cover up for their real feelings – that gay people are icky and/or scary. What they REALLY can’t stand is when they get called out for being anti-gay; they seem genuinely shocked to be considered anything but loving.

  9. cameltoehoe - Dec 31, 2012 at 11:06 PM

    Difficult? Maybe. Uncomfortable? Perhaps. A lotta K-9 lube goes a long way!

  10. goosepond - Jan 1, 2013 at 7:51 AM

    The point is, this idiot writer for the sake of a story was taking Torii Hunters words out of context and trying to paint him as a hateful homophobe while adding his own spin on Torii’s intent just to stir a pot that is already at a social boil. People like this jerk journalist are not out to write facts or report stories they are out to create them and unfortunately there are a lot of stupid people out there who let garbage write ups like this influence them all the while justifying their perversions as being open minded and enlightened. Torii Hunter said NOTHING caustic or injurious to anyone he simply stated his feelings! I can relate to them too! I know I would not feel comfortable around a bunch of men in the locker room who might be checking me out in the locker room and shower or trying to get a peek at the urinal! Yeah and if people are gay that is fine I really don’t care as long as they keep their stuff private instead of purposely shoving and forcing their depraved ways upon those of us who are offended by them. There is no need to march, or demand same sex marriages or act like wild animals in public it is offensive. No one wants to see that lewd behavior and if Drew Silva can’t understand that then he is the one who is the cancer in modern day society not people in the likes of Torii Hunter!!!

  11. norman854 - Jan 1, 2013 at 8:18 AM

    There is just one more thing I should say about this. To all of the people who have convinced themselves that there is no God in heaven who hates all of our sin, including but in no way limited to homosexuality, I sincerely pray that you come to learn just how wrong you are before it is too late. If you do not, then when Christ returns, He will cause you to admit that He is the King, and then you will be sentenced to eternal damnation. To those who question why Christians aren’t speaking about murders or rape, or Sabbath observance, God is angry about these sins too, but that isn’t the focus of this ridiculous, trouble-provoking article.

    • easttoak - Jan 1, 2013 at 5:11 PM

      If I believed for one minute that you really care about me (or my eternal soul), I would say thank you. But I don’t believe that. So I will just say no thanks to your prayers.

      As for caring about Sabbath observance, I would love to see a piece of legislation passed to close businesses/work on Sabbath because it offends Christians. It won’t happen. Why? Money > Jesus > Gays. People DON’T CARE about the Bible when affects their bottom line. Many Christians just want to use it as an excuse to beat others over the head.

      • norman854 - Jan 2, 2013 at 12:01 AM

        To easttoak:

        I’m sorry that you have such a low opinion of me (having never met me) as to decide that I don’t really mean what I said. I can assure you that I always mean what I say. However, apparently you, in your great wisdom, have the right to judge my motives and beliefs better than I myself. That is a wonderful capability that you have. However your opinion is your business, not mine, and you can believe whatever you would like about me, as there are many other more important people who actually know me and make their judgements based on that. Writing on the Internet is not going to change your opinion I am sure, but I do feel obliged to at least degend myself. As for the Sabbath observance thing, I work 60 hours a week in a construction business while also putting myself through four years of college taking six classes a semester, so I would say I have a fairly busy schedule, yet Sunday is a day of no work or schoolwork, as it is God’s day. Before you get on your high horse and accuse me of being a hypocrite for all of my sins, let me do that job for you. Of course I have sins. I sin all the time, just like everyone else. However, that doesn’t allow me to just give up or give a pass to sin and hope that if I ignore it then it will just go away. If I believe homosexuality is a sin, I have a calling before God to express that, or else I am just as bad as the homosexuals. I have a callinv to fight sin with everything I’ve got, despite being a sinner myself. As for you, Mr. Silva, who originally started this whole thing, with your Internet trash and sensationalistic journalism, all I can say is this- I can see why you are stuck writing little crappy articles like this, instead of writing for a real paper. Of this is the best you can produce, you doesn’t deserve the designation of a writer. A fourth grader given ten minutes and a pencil could produce a more logical and compelling article. Seriously, Mr. Silva- you can do better.

      • protius - Jan 2, 2013 at 7:02 AM

        norman:

        easttoak is a self-righteous know -it-all, who is actually very ignorant and morally bankrupt. So, just ignore everything he has to say to you.

        None of his arguments have any foundation in truth; they are generally his worthless subjective opinion.

        Just pass him by.

  12. ermur22 - Jan 1, 2013 at 8:27 AM

    Don’t let religion and the Bible be your excuse for bigotry and hatred.

    • protius - Jan 2, 2013 at 7:04 AM

      Don’t let stupidity and narrow-mindedness stop you from making a fool of yourself.

  13. norman854 - Jan 1, 2013 at 11:07 AM

    You people just don’t get it do you?

  14. codyodea - Jan 1, 2013 at 5:22 PM

    Didn’t Harper get beaned because he was playing “to gay like”? Or is Hamels gay and was flirting with Bryce by smacking him with one of his balls?

  15. nativetexan2012 - Jan 3, 2013 at 4:41 PM

    I thought this article was condescending and unfair to Torii Hunter. These days it’s impossible to be honest without being crucified by people like you. How many times does the New Testament have to condemn homosexuality for you to take it seriously? I am always amazed when people try to use the Bible to justify their opinions when they obviously know nothing about it. That is not the real issue, however, The issue is whether or not a person can be honest about deeply held beliefs without being labeled a bigot, homophobe, or an idiot. Some seem to have forgotten that gay people are not the only people with feelings and opinions which are to be valued. If you are a religious Jew, Christian, or Muslim and you believe what the Bible (or the Koran) has to say about homosexuality you may not feel comfortable showering or being in certain situations with a gay person. Not everyone who holds those beliefs would be uncomfortable with that, but I’m not going to ridicule and condemn someone who is. Tolerance is a two-way street. It doesn’t only apply to gays. It also applies to Christians and others who believe in certain standards of morality and behavior.

  16. rkalsic - Jan 4, 2013 at 3:38 AM

    Norman that was outstanding! Ugh, Torii speaks the truth
    Nothing wrong with that! Homosexuality is wrong,
    If you don’t agree, that’s fine you can blog about how you think
    It’s ok! Peace to all!

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