The Washington Nationals highlighted a marriage proposal between a gay couple at a recent game, which seemed to get a mostly positive response from the crowd. The team also as an annual Night OUT, which features a DJ party and the Gay Men's Chorus of Washington performing the National Anthem. It is described as the largest LGBT event in professional sports.
These events are sometimes at odds with player's views on LGBT issues... At least, one player in particular, Daniel Murphy, has been very vocal about his anti-gay views.
|Washington National's Daniel Murphy (CBSsports.com)|
From Slate by Mark Joseph Stern from Nov 22, 2015--
... Murphy is perhaps the most explicitly and unabashedly anti-gay figure in major league sports today. Earlier this year, Murphy unloaded his thoughts about Billy Bean, an openly gay retired player and Major League Baseball’s Ambassador for Inclusion:
I disagree with his lifestyle. I do disagree with the fact that Billy is a homosexual. That doesn’t mean I can’t still invest in him and get to know him. I don’t think the fact that someone is a homosexual should completely shut the door on investing in them in a relational aspect. Getting to know him. That, I would say, you can still accept them but I do disagree with the lifestyle, 100 percent.Murphy then tried to qualify his statement, comparing homosexuality to undesirable personality traits like “pride”:
Maybe, as a Christian, that we haven’t been as articulate enough in describing what our actual stance is on homosexuality. We love the people. We disagree the lifestyle. That’s the way I would describe it for me. It’s the same way that there are aspects of my life that I’m trying to surrender to Christ in my own life. There’s a great deal of many things, like my pride.Of course, Murphy has every right to hold these beliefs, which earned him praise from such luminaries as the Westboro Baptist Church. He does not have a right to expand on them without discipline. Had an MLB player said something bigoted about a black or Jewish player, the league would have reprimanded him. Instead, it took no serious action against Murphy, effectively ratifying his views as reasonable and harmless.
It's interesting that the Nationals would make the signing public on Christmas Eve, notoriously one of the "deadest" days for news consumption in the offseason.
Clearly, the Nationals didn't care that Murphy is so publicly bigoted. Plenty of people buy the "love the sinner, hate the sin" nonsense that anti-gay Christians repeatedly convey. Interestingly, the Nationals have had two members of the team -- batboy Spenser Clark and human-resources executive Steve Reed -- come out publicly on Outsports in the last couple of months. The Nationals publicly expressed pride in Clark after he came out.
Now Clark will be helping a man who has publicly said he "disagrees" with Clark's personal identity.