My thanks, of course, is tongue-in-cheek, but Murphy's comments did re-open the conversation regarding tolerance in our society and on the ball fields with respect to homosexuality on a day when the name Glenn Burke was filling the airwaves because of the book re-release.
If you haven't heard or read by now, Murphy said he "disagreed with the lifestyle" of Bean, which I find interesting. It was as if Murphy, like many people, still believe that being gay is a choice.
I interviewed around fifty gay men while working on Glenn's autobiography back in the mid-Nineties. Most volunteered to me that being "straight" is a much easier life, one that doesn't need to be hidden from others, while being gay, I was told again and again, often made them feel like an outcast. Some said it was never a choice in the same way that some people are left-handed or have brown hair--gays are simply born gay.
So who am I or Daniel Murphy or anyone to call Bean's being gay a lifestyle choice? Or the better question: Should we even care?
I will say this for Murphy--he was honest in his convictions. He wasn't a coward and didn't lie about how he felt about the subject matter when asked--no matter how hurtful it might have been to Bean and other gay men and women (some of which are Mets' fans). And to his credit, he said he wouldn't have an issue playing alongside a gay teammate which is a better fate than Glenn Burke experienced during his playing days. Maybe it represents some progress.
But one thing is certain. This all keeps the conversation alive. Social attitudes towards gays are coming around. It would be foolish to believe it could all happen overnight.