Gay Teammate Would Be ’Difficult’ for a Detroit Tiger to Accept
A right fielder for the Detroit Tigers made headlines this week after telling a reporter with the Los Angeles Times that an openly gay teammate would make things "difficult" and would make him "uncomfortable."
"For me, as a Christian...I will be uncomfortable because in all my teachings and all my learning, biblically, it's not right," Torii Hunter told the reporter, Kevin Baxter. "It will be difficult and uncomfortable."
Soon after the controversial remarks made their way around the Internet, the former Los Angeles outfielder took to Twitter to respond to the criticisms he's received -- and to backtrack.
"I'm very disappointed in Kevin Baxter's article in which my quotes and feelings have been misrepresented," the baseball player wrote. "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," he continued. "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."
Hunter, 37, is a four-time All-Star and has played in the major leagues since 1997. This isn't the first time the baseball player made what could be perceived as insensitive comments. In a 2010 interview with USA Today, he said Latino baseball players are " impostors" when talking about demographics in baseball.
"People see dark faces out there, and the perception is that they're African-American. They're not us. They're impostors," he said. He went on to note, "As African-American players, we have a theory that baseball can go get an imitator and pass them off as us...It's like, 'Why should I get this kid from the South Side of Chicago and have Scott Boras represent him and pay him $5 million when you can get a Dominican guy for a bag of chips?'"
Hunter's comments once might have been common. But these days, they seem more and more out of line with other pro athletes. More and more sports stars have been vocal about their support for the LGBT community and out players.