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Jeremy Affeldt: “I had homophobia, and now I don’t”

May 22, 2013, 2:00 PM EDT

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Jeremy Affeldt was interviewed about his new book. Which, it seems, reveals the deeply Christian Affeldt to have experienced a transformation on the matter of homosexuality:

When Jeremy Affeldt came to the Bay Area as an opposing player, he refused to leave his hotel room aside from going to and from the ballpark. He was admittedly homophobic …¬†“I didn’t leave my hotel room when we came to play the Giants or A’s. I didn’t want to go out or see anyone …¬†There’s a chapter in there of me coming to San Francisco and being hesitant because I had homophobia, and now I don’t,” he said. “I see more San Francisco as a city of love and a city of passion and compassion. It’s unbelievable this city. To see that and to have my heart change as a city I didn’t ever want to come to, to a city that I’m so thankful I’m going to be part of for a long time, it talks about that. For me, it was an awesome deal.”

The explanation is pretty simple: he met gay people who were human beings, not cartoonish “abominations.” He realized that the Bible he reads says a lot more about loving thy neighbor than it does about condemning things which scare some people. He used his brain and his heart and realized that being a Christian is not incompatible with accepting others as they are. Quite the opposite, actually.

I’ve not read Affeldt’s book, but from what I have seen of it, he sounds like a thoughtful and interesting guy. I’m glad he’s getting some attention for it.

  1. flavadave10 - May 22, 2013 at 2:03 PM

    Good for Jeremy. I deeply respect his honesty in this matter. You don’t need to support homosexuals or their lifestyle, but one should at least be tolerant of it and allow people to be happy. They’re not hurting anyone.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - May 22, 2013 at 11:53 PM

      Sorry dave, it sounds like you basically mean well, but: “support homosexuals or their lifestyle” is an utterly meaningless comment. For the quintillionth time, there is no homosexual lifestyle any more than there is a heterosexual lifestyle. Hugh Hefner and I are both straight, but we’ve lived very different lifestyles. And sexual orientation is a little like gravity: whether you approve of it or not will have utterly no impact on its continued existence.

      • flavadave10 - May 23, 2013 at 8:10 AM

        My apologies if my words came out wrong.

  2. yahmule - May 22, 2013 at 2:08 PM

    I don’t know him, but I’m proud of the guy.We never have to stop growing as human beings.

  3. Old Gator - May 22, 2013 at 2:13 PM

    I like the way he phrased it – “I had homophobia,” as if it were a disease. Which, of course, it is – a disease of the spirit, a disease of the mind caused by ignorance and whose primary symptom is hate, vectored like any pathogen from those who are already carriers to new sets of victims via the written or spoken word. Good for you, Jeremy – now go home and see if you can help any of the sickened ones you caught if from in the first place.

    • neoshweaty - May 22, 2013 at 2:37 PM

      I’m glad he phrased it the way he did. A lot of people are bigoted and prejudice and refuse to confront that part of themselves at all. He realized that gay people are just boring humans and would in no way affect any part of his life and accepted that. I bet he is a lot happier as a result. I just wish it was easy to convince people of that.

    • gibbyfan - May 22, 2013 at 2:44 PM

      Well put Gator –Very well put

    • historiophiliac - May 22, 2013 at 3:42 PM

      I was lost but now am found.

      • Old Gator - May 22, 2013 at 3:45 PM

        Great! I’ll be down there with some ID in just a few minutes to claim you and try to return you to whomever it is that keeps leaving you on that bus.

      • lncrprl - May 22, 2013 at 11:07 PM

        now that you found yourself……..get lost!

    • Reflex - May 22, 2013 at 4:43 PM

      Good post, Gator. I grew up in a home where Rush Limbaugh was dinner time listening and I was raised to quite literally hate gays. I am ashamed of how I thought of them as a teen and young man. After I got into the real world, and especially after exposure to them via the workplace it became clear just how wrong my upbringing was.

      A turning point for me was the day my truck broke down while delivering pizza many years ago. I managed to walk the pizza to the delivery location, told the guys who answered the door what happened, and they went back with me and pushed the truck to their parking space at the apartments, and called a friend to come out and fix it up. I didn’t realize until I noticed that the two bedroom apartment had one room set up as an office that they were a gay couple, they were completely normal guys. I know that sounds obvious, but with my upbringing it really was not.

      The sad thing is that it really should not have taken an extraordinary act of kindness to make me realize that they were just like everyone else. And I am disappointed in myself that it did take that. Childhood programming is difficult to overcome, unfortunately.

      • koufaxmitzvah - May 22, 2013 at 5:20 PM

        Great story. You should be proud about your own open-mindedness as opposed to ashamed as to how you were raised; and you should feel honored that the Universe carved out for you such a learning experience.

      • yahmule - May 22, 2013 at 7:43 PM

        That is a great story. Thanks for sharing it.

    • indaburg - May 22, 2013 at 4:44 PM

      Homophobia is a disease of the spirit. I will borrow that line. Thank you.

  4. mc1439 - May 22, 2013 at 2:18 PM

    The Gays.

  5. evanwins - May 22, 2013 at 2:21 PM

    He went to San Franciso and didn’t leave his hotel room because of homophobia. So he thought all of SF was gay?

    • historiophiliac - May 22, 2013 at 2:25 PM

      I seriously know people who think it is contagious.

      • raybrower - May 22, 2013 at 3:34 PM

        Homer: …And the whole steel mill was gay.

        Moe: Jeez, where ya been, Homer? The whole steel *industry’s* gay.

      • stlouis1baseball - May 22, 2013 at 4:14 PM

        I know. And didn’t take it that way. We are good.

      • tfbuckfutter - May 22, 2013 at 4:30 PM

        Homer: He didn’t give you gay did he?

    • lingerie00yardsale - May 22, 2013 at 2:34 PM

      San Francisco is 100% fabulous.

    • stlouis1baseball - May 22, 2013 at 2:50 PM

      That truly surprised you Evan? Lemme’ guess…the city in which you currently reside (or are from)…has a population of 100,000+. Probably much higher. No?

  6. apmn - May 22, 2013 at 2:40 PM

    Amen, Craig!

    Their is a valid reason to not leave your hotel room in San Fran, though. The place is completely soaked in urine and littered with feces. HUMAN feces. WTF, SF?

    • Old Gator - May 22, 2013 at 3:40 PM

      You need to go upstairs. Life in the sewers would give you the wrong impression about any town.

      • yahmule - May 22, 2013 at 7:45 PM

        Good luck telling these Morlocks anything, Gator.

  7. guyzun - May 22, 2013 at 2:42 PM

    Its better to be sodomophobic than homophobic because its better to be against the act and not the person. This will make Jeremy’s testimony for Christ much stronger too and be able to reach folks he could not before… good deal

    • painted8 - May 22, 2013 at 3:22 PM

      Always Be Closing

      (for Jesus, of course)

    • yashraba - May 22, 2013 at 3:27 PM

      not sure if you’re trying to mask bigotry here…are you saying that you are fine with homosexuality as long as they strictly resort to falatio? In that sense, are you also against any hetero couple who engages in anal intercourse? Is sodomophobic even a word???

      • Old Gator - May 22, 2013 at 3:44 PM

        Maybe he just has a horror of constipation. So did Gandhi.

    • aiede - May 22, 2013 at 5:10 PM

      Exactly. I personally the condemn the use of razors in major-league locker rooms (Leviticus 19:27) and modern mixed-fiber uniforms (Leviticus 19:19) but still cheer for the shaven and clothed players.

      Also, if two baseball players are fighting and one player’s wife grabs the other player in the crotch while trying to break up the fight, I’ll chop her hand off like the Bible says but it’ll be out of love and to bring her closer to God. (Deuteronomy 25:11-12)

  8. stlouis1baseball - May 22, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    Good for Affeldt. Happy he is owning up to it…and has moved well past it.
    People can evolve.

  9. realgone2 - May 22, 2013 at 3:15 PM

    Shit. I think I’m coming down with Homophobia!! Damn queers! Uhg sorry it’s like turrets syndrome

    • Old Gator - May 22, 2013 at 3:42 PM

      Tourette’s. But you may be on to something here: have you noticed that people who are susceptible to homophobia also seem to carry a dominant gene for illiteracy?

      • realgone2 - May 22, 2013 at 3:46 PM

        It also seems that many people also have no sense of humor in the least.

      • indaburg - May 22, 2013 at 4:32 PM

        Realgone, it is my sense of humor that prevents your comment from being funny.

  10. nygiantstones - May 22, 2013 at 3:20 PM

    Yeah, pretty much what would happen to any human being once they’re removed from some isolated, rural, bible-bound geographical area of the United States to places where a wide range of different human beings reside and don’t drag other people by chains behind pick-up trucks for being different.

    • stlouis1baseball - May 22, 2013 at 3:27 PM

      Yeah cause Smalltown, USA has rampant cases of “dragging people by chains behind pick up trucks.” I mean…it’s an epidemic.

      • paperlions - May 22, 2013 at 3:30 PM

        Not as common as it used to be less than a century ago…but has happened not that long ago: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_James_Byrd,_Jr.

      • realgone2 - May 22, 2013 at 3:31 PM

        Yup. Not one narrow minded person north of the maxon dixon. Nope not a one.

      • nygiantstones - May 22, 2013 at 3:31 PM

        Uh huh, coming from someone that lives in one of the most segregated cities in the US. You St. Louis people are awful tolerant. Which side of Delmar do you live on?

      • nygiantstones - May 22, 2013 at 3:36 PM

        Never mentioned the South. You did.

      • historiophiliac - May 22, 2013 at 3:39 PM

        I met some pretty close-minded people up north too — and there are gay people in rural Bible Belt towns as well.

      • 18thstreet - May 22, 2013 at 3:45 PM

        StLouis1 does not live in St. Louis. Easy mistake.

      • indaburg - May 22, 2013 at 4:42 PM

        There are bigoted people up north. It tends to not be as widespread in the bigger cities for the same reason that Affeldt was cured of homophobia. He went to a big city and was exposed to new things. Exposure to other cultures, points of view, orientations etc makes us less fearful because frequently what we fear or despise is what we do not know.

        I’ll admit to my own bigotry. Before I moved down South, I stupidly assumed a southern accent indicated lower education. I didn’t even realize I did it. That was really igmorant of me. I was exposed to new people and experiences, and I saw I was dead wrong. Dialect is no indication of education and some of the smartest folks I’ve met speak with that sweet as sugar twang that can charm the pants off a snake.

      • historiophiliac - May 22, 2013 at 5:13 PM

        I’m agin snakes in pants.

      • indaburg - May 22, 2013 at 7:13 PM

        That is very closed minded of you, ‘philiac.

      • jwbiii - May 22, 2013 at 9:28 PM

        “There are bigoted people up north.”
        Absolutely. Jeremy Affeldt, for example, went to Northwest Christian HS in Spokane.

    • sportsdrenched - May 22, 2013 at 3:40 PM

      Affeldt is from Spokane, Washington. Didn’t realize dragging people behind pick-ups was an issue there. Fighting intolerance with ignorance of entire regions of the US isn’t getting us anywhere.

      • 18thstreet - May 22, 2013 at 3:47 PM

        There are bigots everywhere. This was Boston:

      • nygiantstones - May 22, 2013 at 4:08 PM

        Still fits into this: “some isolated, rural, bible-bound geographical area of the United States”. I went to school in Pullman. I know Eastern WA. OK, the dragging part was over the top, that was a cheap shot. And yes, it happens everywhere. NYC has had a 70% increase in hate crimes vs. gays over the last year alone. I’m tired of the MLB right-Christian attitudes that pervade the sport and the vast majority of these guys are white guys from rural areas or Latins from Catholic countries. Good for Affeldt for changing, good luck getting any of the rest of them to change. E.g. Mark Knudson (former), Torii Hunter, Yunel Escobar, and Jeff Kent (former) immediately come to mind with tons of other unquoted players or clubhouse conversations thrown in. Last year ESPN ran an anonymous poll of major sports athletes and MLB led the way with 55% of the players being against gay marriage. Sounds like a lot of religious ignorance mixed with geographic isolation to me.

    • stlouis1baseball - May 22, 2013 at 3:53 PM

      Dude…I have no idea what you are talking about. I didn’t mention one word of the South.
      I was only (vaguely) pointing out how narrow minded your comment was.
      By all means…stay in your densley populated bubble.
      I fully appreciate stereotypes being easier for you.
      Not that it matters…but I am not from St. Louis (or Missouri for that matter).

      Please see the post from sportsdrenched. He pretty much nails it.

      • historiophiliac - May 22, 2013 at 4:11 PM

        For the record, I was not piling on you.

  11. sportsdrenched - May 22, 2013 at 3:42 PM

    Good for Affeldt. Don’t matter much how you get there, as long as you get there.

  12. drunkhistorian - May 22, 2013 at 3:52 PM

    Jeremy Affeldt signed an autograph for me when I was in High School and the Royals were visiting against the Giants. So I was hiding in the closet at the time and he was in his hotel room. Good for him to evolve!

    • stlouis1baseball - May 22, 2013 at 3:55 PM

      The joke was on him at the time then huh? Hahaha!
      Good for you Historian. Good for you.

  13. stlouis1baseball - May 22, 2013 at 3:57 PM

    Paper: Well aware of James Byrd, Jr.
    P.S. You aren’t helping.

  14. randygnyc - May 22, 2013 at 4:05 PM

    Good for you Jeremy. More people should follow his example.

  15. jm91rs - May 22, 2013 at 4:08 PM

    Was he traded to the Giants or did he sign there? If the guy were scared to leave his room I’d think no amount of money in the world would make him sign there.

    Regardless, he sounds like a well spoken guy. Glad to hear someone so scared of something so harmless can get over it. Leaves hope for me that the rest of the world will get there eventually.

    • asimonetti88 - May 22, 2013 at 7:06 PM

      He signed as a free agent.

  16. eightyraw - May 22, 2013 at 5:24 PM

    The AP has nixed the use of “homophobia,” and I wholly agree with their move. This isn’t an irrational fear or a form of mental illness. It is simply bigotry.

    I will admit however that refusal to leave a hotel room in one of the nation’s largest cities does seem like a phobia. But of what was Affeldt afraid? That he’d have to perform fellatio on any man he encountered on the street?

    • jwbiii - May 22, 2013 at 9:41 PM

      I agree. I don’t think homophobia (fear) is the right word. I think homoekhthra (hatred, enmity, animosity, spite, rancor) is more appropriate.

  17. cogitobaseballergosum - May 22, 2013 at 7:32 PM

    “They’re human beings, and I’m going to love on them just as God told me to love all human beings. I’m not going to sit there and worry about all that other garbage. It’s a matter of love your neighbor as yourself.”

    Nice to hear about a Christian that actually understands Jesus’ true message. There are plenty of them out there, they just don’t usually get the press.

  18. mtheparrothead - May 22, 2013 at 9:59 PM

    @reflex,

    Yeah, rush Limbaugh caused your close mindedness. Totally wasn’t your parents fault. I see they taught you the important value of deflection at least.

  19. yousuxxors - May 23, 2013 at 3:20 AM

    most of these crazy Christians ideas are based off the old testament but Jesus himself said the old testament was outdated and that new laws (new testament) would come. Jesus was just trying to spread love for his fellow man.

  20. louhudson23 - May 23, 2013 at 2:22 PM

    Rural does not mean southern.

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