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Torii Hunter says he was misquoted

Dec 31, 2012, 12:48 PM EDT

This may explain why he's hitting .218 Getty Images

This was about as predictable as could be:

I’m very disappointed in Kevin Baxter’s article in which my quotes and feelings have been misrepresented. He took two completely separate quotes and made them into one quote that does not express how I feel as a Christian or a human being . I have love and respect for all human beings regardless of race, color or sexual orientation. I am not perfect and try hard to live the best life I can and treat all people with respect. If you know me you know that I am not anti anything and to be portrayed as anti-gay in this article is hurtful and just not true.

For what it’s worth, Kevin Baxter is a well-respected reporter and a straight shooter. Anything is possible I suppose, but long is the list of people who have publicly stepped in it and then later claimed they were misquoted and taken out of context.

Indeed, Torii Hunter himself has made this claim before.

  1. lionsplayoffs - Jan 1, 2013 at 1:17 AM

    At least he got it right the second time. Better than Lomas Brown.

  2. Jack Marshall - Jan 1, 2013 at 1:47 AM

    Ugh. Hearsay does not mean “something reported from another source.” If a reporter hears someone say something and reports that he said it, that’s not hearsay. Hearsay is when that reporter asserts that what the person he is quoting said was true. The reporter can’t know whether it’s true. He can only know that the speaker said it was true. So if a reporter says “Hunter said the following:” that’s not hearsay. It may be a lie, or a misquote, but it’s not hearsay.

    Got it?

  3. joegolfer - Jan 1, 2013 at 3:09 AM

    Lots of opinions here. As far as “hearsay”, I have to say that we have to consider it “hearsay” unless we hear the actual tape of the interview. Jack Marshall (previous post) defines hearsay, but that would mean it wasn’t hearsay only to that particular reporter, not to the rest of us. To us, it’s still hearsay, since we aren’t hearing it directly from Torii himself but rather through the intermediary, the reporter.
    If the reporter did indeed take two separate statements and put them together to give a different meaning, then that actually is “taking things out of context”, even if each individual quote is exact.
    As far as other posters comments on Hunter’s previous quotes, that doesn’t necessarily mean he wasn’t improperly quoted on this one. It just means he’s made dumb statements on a few occasions in the past. That doesn’t mean he was exactly quoted this time around though. Surely we can all think of other athletes who have made dumb statements. Some of those athletes were jerks, while others simply shot off their mouth inappropriately, speaking without thinking diplomatically first about the consequences of their words.
    A couple posters said that all of these athletes are very media savvy, so they all know better than to make comments that could be misconstrued. I don’t agree with that at all. Many athletes are poorly educated, often going to the minor leagues straight out of high school and then learning nothing but the jock mentality henceforth. Even well educated people often speak off the cuff and say something they later regret. One of the most interviewed athletes of all time was Michael Jordan, considered by many to be basketball’s best player. Yet one has to only look at his Hall of Fame induction speech to see that even this “very media savvy” person did a dumb thing, as he ripped other former NBA players for slights that were almost two decades old. Imagine using the HOF speech as a format to do that, yet that’s exactly what he did. That day should have been to him only a day of wondrous honor and joy for him, but he made it into a day to air long held grudges and grievances in public.
    As far as Hunter saying he would be uncomfortable with a gay teammate, do we really know what he meant by that? Did he mean he would treat him poorly, or not accept him as a legitimate ballplayer? Or did it simply mean that he’d be uncomfortable while walking around naked in the locker room, since a gay man is attracted to other men rather than women. While I personally don’t think that would be an issue anyway, as these are professionals, that could be one possibility of what Hunter meant. It doesn’t mean that Hunter would treat the gay player shabbily.
    I do agree that athletes often use the “I was misquoted” excuse far too often. Laughingly, Charles Barkley used it regarding a quote in his own “autobiography” :) , as someone else wrote what Charles dictated to them.
    Perhaps eventually we’ll hear the actual tape, or Torii will go on record explaining exactly what he meant by his words. But we’ll just have to wait for that.

  4. jolink653 - Jan 1, 2013 at 1:34 PM

    I never understood why people are so quick to back-track on quotes like this. If Torii Hunter has a problem with having a gay teammate in the locker room, why should that be held against him? He obviously feels uncomfortable in that situation, as is his right as a person, and he came out and said it to a reporter. The problem I have is when people turn around and say they didn’t say it because they’re afraid of the public backlash. Stick by what you said and show some balls dude

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