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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. ningenito78 - Dec 30, 2012 at 6:50 PM

    Am I the only one who sees a problem with Hunter, a black baseball player, saying another group (be it based on race, ethnicity, colour or sexual preference) would be difficult to accept into baseball? Or in addition to that, is just “not right”?

    The problem is saying Hunter should be ok with gays because he’s black is basically lumping everybody that’s not white into one category. Which would be extremely ignorant. Not saying that’s what you were doing. Just saying.

    • dondada10 - Dec 30, 2012 at 6:53 PM

      You know there’s gay white people, right?

      • djpostl - Dec 30, 2012 at 6:56 PM

        And you know that isn’t the issue, right?

        That whole thing went right over that head of yours it seems.

      • dondada10 - Dec 30, 2012 at 6:59 PM

        My apologies. I misread your post.

    • djpostl - Dec 30, 2012 at 6:55 PM

      Nope. It’s the height of hypocrisy, Bible teachings or not, for him to openly preach discrimination against others.

      The scriptures also said owning slaves was fine. Bet he doesn’t see eye to eye with that part of it. He just cherry picks the parts that allow him to be an ignorant bigot.

      • noaz46 - Dec 30, 2012 at 7:54 PM

        First of all, never in Hunter’s statement does he discriminate against gays he uses terms like “difficult and “uncomfortable” and never says that he hates gays or that he would shun a gay teammate. To be made uncomfortable around homosexuals is not a feeling unique to Christians, especially in a situation where you share a locker room with a homosexual where you share showers and change at your locker with that person. Now I would also like to clarify something: God doesn’t hate gays. I’m a Christian myself, and I’ve struggled with a tendency to be homophobic, not entirely due to my Christian upbringing and beliefs, but also due to my uncomfortability with it as a straight man and also due to how “in your face” homosexuals can be about it and their sense of entitlement. However I’ve begun to conquer my homophobic feelings because those feelings are a sin. I would apologize for other Christians who hate homosexuals and those who seem to hate homosexuals by their actions, although many times their actions are greatly misinterpreted, but to hate homosexuals is not consistent with the Christian spirit. Now while not all Christians share my belief in this, but politically I feel that the government has no jurisdiction to tell anybody who they can or cannot marry, although I have a hard time calling a gay marriage a marriage since to me the deffinition of a marriage is a man and a woman, but thats a minor issue in the grand scheme of this debate.
        Lastly I would like to say that nowhere in the Bible do the scriptures condone slavery. There are many times that it states that a slave should serve his master well and it would be wrong of him to rebel, but never does it condone slaves. Also I would like to say there is a distinction between a slave and a servant, and that both were simply part of ancient culture and the Bible simply gives instructions concerning the customs of the times. Also, slaves of the times were different from the deffinition of slaves we are familiar with, much more similar to an indentured servants, and the term slave and servant is sometimes used interchangeably. Also the Bible preaches the dignity of human life, and there are many places where it tells masters to treat their slaves/servants well. Torii Hunter is picking what he likes and doesn’t like, he simply is stating his opinion based upon his Biblical beliefs, and the Bible doesn’t contradict itself.

      • Mark - Dec 30, 2012 at 11:46 PM

        Actually, Noaz, he discriminates against Gays pretty clearly when he says “I will be uncomfortable because in all my teachings and all my learning, biblically, it’s not right”. Note the last part, where he says Homsexuality “it’s not right”. So yeah, he’s pretty clearly discriminating against them by saying it’s not right.

    • sabatimus - Dec 30, 2012 at 7:54 PM

      This will hopefully open his eyes and see that he’s been brainwashed.

  2. tampajoey - Dec 30, 2012 at 6:52 PM

    Maybe Torii is worried about losing a bat

  3. denverdougz - Dec 30, 2012 at 6:53 PM

    All you morons saying its wrong Anne you’d be uncomfortable with it are fuckin pathetic losers. Come join us in the 21st century you dickheads

  4. Kevin Gillman - Dec 30, 2012 at 6:53 PM

    It’s the holidays, can’t we just ignore this story until after January 2nd?

  5. xpensivewinos - Dec 30, 2012 at 7:02 PM

    How about having an openly stupid and bigoted teammate? Where does this f***ing c*unt stand on that one?

    More than anything else next season, I hope this revolting piece of shit suffers a horrific career ending injury.

    • paperlions - Dec 30, 2012 at 7:23 PM

      Oh, c’mon now. That’s uncalled for. The wish should be to educate, not to wish harm.

    • IdahoMariner - Dec 30, 2012 at 8:03 PM

      wow. I totally disagree with Hunter…and agree that he is openly stupid and bigoted.

      But to wish him a horrific career ending injury? and in such crass and degrading terms? Yeah, you put yourself right there with him in terms of thinking and compassion.

  6. waybright25 - Dec 30, 2012 at 7:04 PM

    I have no problems with pro athletes feeling uncomfortable around a gay teammate in the locker room. Its the same reason a woman would not want a man in there public restrooms or at the gym locker room. As a straight man, I know if I shared a locker room with a good lookin woman it would take all my effort to not check her out and have lustful thoughts. Your telling me it would not make you uncomfortable being naked around a gay man…please!!!

    • paperlions - Dec 30, 2012 at 7:25 PM

      Not exactly the same, odds are that most gay guys aren’t attracted to you.

      After all, THOUSANDS of gay men have shared locker rooms with pro athletes in all sports over the last century and it has been such a non-issue that straight guys don’t even know which of their teammates were gay.

      • noaz46 - Dec 30, 2012 at 7:58 PM

        That doesn’t prevent the thought of it coming into your mind, by that logic its perfectly fine to have co-ed locker rooms because a man may not be attracted to all women in a locker room.

    • natslady - Dec 30, 2012 at 8:05 PM

      No. If you were in a nudist culture it wouldn’t bother you. It’s a cultural issue. It used to be a show of ankles was sexually arousing. In India, they are trying to say school uniforms for girls should not be skirts because that leads men to rape. What about when women were not allowed in the locker room for interviews until the courts overrode it?

      As a female, let me tell you, men check you out no matter where you are and what you are wearing, it doesn’t matter about locker rooms. Bottom line is, you don’t have to ACT on it. Gay men are not usually even attracted to straight men, and if they happen to be attracted to ANYONE–gay or straight–who is not attracted in return, all it should take is a “no thanks,” just as that is all it should take for a female.

      • badintent - Dec 30, 2012 at 8:29 PM

        Get Real. Tennis Star Tracy Austin had to have her mother go in all the locker rooms with her so her daughter wouldn’t be intimdate or assautled in the showers by lesbians that dominated the women tennis circuit. Under the Federal ERA admendment, men reporters should be allowed in women pro lockers for LPGA AND ATP TOURS but no men reporters have ever been allowed in.Double standard again.
        We had a gay man in my gym who stared at our private parts. He was told to move on to another gym pronto to entend his life span. He did.Don’t mess with Brooklyn.
        Not an Angel or Tori fan.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 30, 2012 at 9:07 PM

        First off, [citation needed] on the tennis accusation, as a cursory google search of Tracy Austin lesbian gets zero hits referencing what you a describing. Also, nice misunderstanding that liking children and liking someone of the same gender isn’t the same thing. The internet tough guy attitude about a gay man you think was checking you out is icing on the bigot cake though. Well done

      • protius - Jan 1, 2013 at 8:48 AM

        Badbrains, douche of the month…..LMAO

      • badintent - Jan 5, 2013 at 1:11 AM


        All you had to do is google the SI article that covered Austin’s first few years on the women tennis tour.And if you had been a member of the Port Washington Tennis Academy in the 80’s likeI was and knew people that knew her trainer there, you would have access to some of the information that was around her. She was 14/15 years old at the time, so this is NOT the child issue you wrongly make it out to be.
        But I guess a moron like you is down with Gay men raping children on sex tour. They stay out of my gym, I can tell you that.
        As for your “church” I hope it isn’t the Catholic Church of Germany that supported Hilter.My dad’s B-24 bombed many of them

    • southofheaven81 - Dec 30, 2012 at 8:06 PM

      I’m telling you it wouldn’t make me uncomfortable. Grow up.

    • normcash - Dec 31, 2012 at 2:45 AM

      If your concern is whether somebody else may be having “lustful thoughts” about you, all I can say is—GET A LIFE!

  7. masonicmuseum - Dec 30, 2012 at 7:06 PM

    What a jerk, I certainly wouldn’t want to play on the same team with him. Christian?, he obviously doesn’t know the meaning of the word.

    • noaz46 - Dec 30, 2012 at 8:02 PM

      Apparently you don’t understand what hes saying, never did he say anything hurtful or hateful, he simply stated how he would feel. And do you understand the meaning of Christian? I highly doubt it

    • mazblast - Dec 31, 2012 at 4:53 AM

      I’d say he knows exactly what “Christian” means. That is not necessarily good.

  8. ebrownwareagle - Dec 30, 2012 at 7:07 PM

    At the end of the day, a Gay man or woman will and is going to justify their lifestyle just as much as a Str8 man or woman will justify there’s. Be it with the Bible or lack there of. It is what it is.

  9. ningenito78 - Dec 30, 2012 at 7:11 PM

    Jesus Christ. He said he would be uncomfortable around gays. He didn’t say he would pick up the nearest baseball bat and beat him until he was retarded. He has a right to his opinion as much as the asshole that just wished a career ending injury on him does. Although I imagine xpensivewinos wouldn’t appreciate someone hoping he gets hit by a bus tomorrow for having his opinion.

  10. sincitybonobo - Dec 30, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    Using a selective interpretation of the bible to determine what opportunities should be afforded someone in the 21st century is folly. Disappointing, indeed, coming from Torii.

    I read the article last night and the takeaway was that the first player to come out would have to deal with the “team cohesion” argument. The easier a player’s numbers are to replace, the more likely a trade, release, or non-tender are to take place. Management could always come up with an official justification for removing a gay player from the clubhouse.

    Let’s face it- the average salary among MLB players is $3.2 mil and competing in the big leagues is a humbling and challenging endeavor. The first to come out while active would be stepping into unknown territory and could jeopardize his career. Beyond the superstars, many of these guys are just thankful to have one of 750 MLB roster spots.

    That said, baseball is changing with the country. The Giants and Red Sox, among others, have made videos in support of the “It Gets Better” campaign. This would have not happened even 20 years ago.

    • noaz46 - Dec 30, 2012 at 8:09 PM

      What about his interpretation of the Bible is selective? The Bible says that homosexuality is wrong, just as it also says that adultery, lying, or theft is wrong. Also, the Bible nevers says that God hates homosexuals or that Christians need to, which Torii never said anything of the sort

      • easttoak - Jan 1, 2013 at 9:40 PM

        He works on Sabbath. Perhaps he eats shellfish? He probably didn’t use the Biblical punishment on his son when he committed a crime and was arrested (yet another civil law that “interfers” and “offends” the Biblical crowd).

    • natslady - Dec 30, 2012 at 8:09 PM

      Maybe yes, maybe no. If a gay person feels very strongly about his partner, he might be willing to come out. For example, if his team won the World Series–which regretfully did not happen this year. If your team won the World Series, wouldn’t you want to celebrate that with your partner? In particular, if your partner was your teammate?

  11. cowboysoldiertx - Dec 30, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    Torii has his right to his opinion. He didn’t make any slurs, nor was he ugly about it. As a fellow Christian I do understand how it bothers him. HOWEVER I was taught to love people no matter were they are. Billy Grahm himself said that if his son was gay he would love him all the more becuase the world would hate him.
    Torii I aplaud you honesty and hopefully your heart changes slightly.

    • genericcommenter - Dec 30, 2012 at 8:15 PM

      Religion is no excuse for bigotry. That said, it sounds like you are mostly on the right track. The thing is though, if he is uncomfortable, he is the one with the issue- not God and not anyone else.

  12. ningenito78 - Dec 30, 2012 at 7:29 PM

    Indaberg- regardless of all that it’s still his opinion. I disagree with what he said 1000% but for me or anyone else to say he’s an asshole for feeling that way just isn’t right. We can’t pick and choose when we can tell someone they aren’t allowed to have their opinion or where does it end? I agree that it being against a group of people makes it much more concerning but we can’t stop it. If he were to act against a gay person it would be obviously different. But he was asked a question and he answered it honestly. Had he lied and said ‘it wouldn’t bother me’ it wouldn’t change the fact that he’s homophobic. Killing a guy for being honest is 100% the wrong way to go and is as ignorant as what Hunter said.

    • IdahoMariner - Dec 30, 2012 at 8:09 PM

      I think we can meet his honest opinion with our own — so, as long as we are not wishing him or inflicting on him harm, we also have a right to voice our counter-opinions. Wishing him harm or threatening him for his opinion doesn’t help the conversation, but having an opinion about whether he is wrong, or whether the Bible really does condemn homosexuals (his stated reason for being uncomfortable) is absolutely within bounds. I think it’s the only way we will move forward on this.

    • indaburg - Dec 30, 2012 at 9:57 PM

      “I agree that it being against a group of people makes it much more concerning but we can’t stop it.”

      Again, that’s a cop-out. We can change opinions. People can change. Yes, there will always be some people who won’t, but many can be educated. I’ve been witness to it.

      I’m not killing Torii, nor do I wish him harm. I also didn’t call him an asshole. Is he being a bigot? Yes, he is. I hope he can be educated. People pointing out his bigoted statement instead of ignoring it because “oh well, that’s just how people are” is how change comes about.

  13. chucklewis13 - Dec 30, 2012 at 7:33 PM

    I have always had the upmost respect for Tori Hunter and usually he is very thoughtful and insightful. However, Tori of all people should understand this is the 21st century and the world is changing every day. Social norms and or behaviors that were taboo back in the 50s and 60s are now accepted social norms. I am certain that when Jackie Robinson broke into the major leagues there were tons of whites who were uncomfortable with Robinson being in the club house and on the Dodgers team. But thanks to good an incredibly good Samaritan named PeeWee Reese who was one of the first to accept and welcome Robinson as a teammate and a borther,, Robinson became an accepted member of the Brooklyn Dodgers. So before Hunter spew his discomfort with an openly gay person in the clubhouse, he needs to go back to his roots and his heritage and come to realize that as an athlete his destiny is inextricably tied up with people of different social norms and lifestyles. The world is changing Tori–deal with it.

  14. ningenito78 - Dec 30, 2012 at 7:35 PM

    He didn’t ‘spew his discomfort’. He was asked a question and he answered it honestly. That’s it.

  15. thatyankeedude - Dec 30, 2012 at 7:36 PM

    Oh my goodness somebody doesnt condone the lifestyle of the gays Torri Hunter must be exiled from the land! Get over yourselves you sick demented libs. Torri isnt comfortable with something that goes against his beliefs. Let it go.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 30, 2012 at 9:10 PM

      Change gays to blacks, and how is the statement any different?

  16. dwaibel38 - Dec 30, 2012 at 7:36 PM

    Amen Chuck! I love Torii Hunter for the way he goes about himself as a player and person. That being said, I vehemently disagree with him here.

  17. ebrownwareagle - Dec 30, 2012 at 7:38 PM

    People stop Comparing Being Gay to being Black! Totally not the same!

    • paperlions - Dec 30, 2012 at 7:49 PM

      Please explain. No one gets to choose their sex, race, or sexuality. If you think homosexuals choose to be so, then you must think that heterosexuals also make a choice to be so….which, of course, isn’t true.

    • genericcommenter - Dec 30, 2012 at 8:12 PM

      Are you black and gay? I know plenty of people who are both, and I think they might disagree. In addition, quite a few have been tortured by black bigots and self-hating black closet-cases.

    • cur68 - Dec 31, 2012 at 1:37 AM

      I’m black. Well, not by Torii Hunter’s standards, but I am anyways. I think its EXACTLY the same bigotry. People are born a certain way. Gender, sexual preference, and skin tone are facts of birth. Its exactly the same sort of bigotry I grew up with because I was dark.

  18. ningenito78 - Dec 30, 2012 at 7:39 PM

    For all the people talking about how in some countries you could be killed for being gay. Well in most of those countries you can also be killed for voicing an option the government doesn’t agree with. Does that sound better to you? Because that’s all Hunter did.

    • tfbuckfutter - Dec 30, 2012 at 8:00 PM

      How is the public condemning his opinion the same as being repressed by the government?

    • IdahoMariner - Dec 30, 2012 at 8:30 PM

      and, again, we are free to voice our disagreement with that opinion.

  19. ningenito78 - Dec 30, 2012 at 7:47 PM

    Sounds a lot less stupid then ‘let’s stop asking people’s opinions on issues because they might say something we don’t agree with’.

  20. kregaway - Dec 30, 2012 at 8:08 PM


    • tfbuckfutter - Dec 30, 2012 at 8:16 PM

      Awww….bet that makes not being attractive to either sex that much more bearable, eh Jethro?

  21. genericcommenter - Dec 30, 2012 at 8:09 PM

    What I really don’t get is this:

    If one is “uncomfortable” around gay people, how is is MORE difficult to be around openly gay, rather than closeted gay teammates?

    I am not uncomfortable with gay people at all, but in trying to put myself in the shoes of a bigot or insecure closet-case, I think I would be less comfortable sharing the locker room with the unknown gays- if I were that type of guy who doesn’t want to hang around naked gay guys.

  22. ningenito78 - Dec 30, 2012 at 8:16 PM

    How is the public condemning his opinion the same as being repressed by the government?

    Where do you think the government repressing it starts?

    • tfbuckfutter - Dec 30, 2012 at 8:34 PM

      That is actually the exact opposite of how it works.

      Governments don’t repress the opinion of the majority. They repress the ideas of the minority to keep them from spreading.

  23. ningenito78 - Dec 30, 2012 at 8:17 PM

    Governments don’t tend to repress the unpersecuted majority.

  24. jonirocit - Dec 30, 2012 at 8:22 PM

    Everyone has their right to believe or their own views as long as he is not offending anyone who cares . The media and the P.C police have gone to far in this country. Take it easy we all don’t have to agree with everything we just have to respect others opinions … Actually we don’t even have to do that . We just need not to be offensive or prejudice.

  25. huskerguy - Dec 30, 2012 at 8:27 PM

    There are a few references in the New Testament that says homosexuality is a sin. It does not say that it is a worse sin because all sins are the same in Gods eyes. Yes it says to love everyone, even says to pray for your enemies.

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