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Torrii Hunter: Homophobe

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#41 Shane Wahl

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 09:43 AM

I doubt that replacing "gay" with "Mexican" would be any more or less idiotic, and he still has a right to his opinion. In fact, I'm not sure that that changes the analysis at all.

I think (and this is my personal opinion, so feel free to jump down my throat and call me a horrible bigot) that we should just kind of shake our heads and move on. This world is largely populated by idiots, and that's made manifest in constant and varying ways. Instead, we've taken this as an opportunity to engage in a holier-than-thou circle jerk.

Yeah, I disagree with him. That doesn't make me special.


The only three that might be equal in terms of interchangeability might be gays, native Americans, and atheists!

Other than that, it is simply off limits to refer to not including other groups or being openly against them. Substitute almost anything else into Torii's comments and he would face much more trouble.

#42 JB_Iowa

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 09:48 AM

Apparently Torii Hunter had a similar religious upbringing to mine. And regardless of what the writer may have said, MANY main stream Christian churches do not consider gay behavior to be acceptable. That does not mean that they condemn a person for being gay but it does mean that they believe that sexual acts should be within the confines of marriage between 2 persons of the opposite sex -- thus sex between persons of the same gender is unacceptable in the same way that adultery is unacceptable.

And yes, an openly gay teammate has the potential to be very divisive on a team.

There's a reason that there are red and blue states and moral issues such as this one are part of the "great divide".

And as much as I may vote like a liberal when it comes right down to it on a personal level, my religious upbringing is pretty hard to ignore. That doesn't mean I hate gays but it also doesn't mean that I'm comfortable with gay behavior.

#43 Jim Crikket

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 09:51 AM

Yes this is a fairly common attitude in professional sports and Hunter is certainly not alone. I have a hard time believing, however, that pro athletes are much worse in this regard than any other group of people who have strong "religious" upbringings and no real reason to care about changing their attitudes about things (stuck on sports autopilot starting from an early age, then come into a lot of money, etc.).


I was going to totally ignore this thread because I feel it's less about sports and more about a sensitive religious/political/societal issue and that kind of thing, in my experience, is seldom productively discussed on a message board. But I will say I think Shane is pretty much spot on with this post. How many of us had the same perspective we have on this issue today that we did 10 or 20 years ago... or more? I admit I didn't.

Like Hunter, I'm a Christian, so I understand his comments with regard to behavior that runs contrary to his religious upbringing. But if I had the opportunity to discuss this with Torii, I would ask him if he's ever had a team mate who had sex outside of marriage or who couldn't utter a sentence without taking the Lord's name in vain. I suspect that if he thought about it for long, he'd realize that every day he spends in the clubhouse he shares it with people who lead lifestyles that, in some respect, run counter to his religious beliefs and yet he manages just fine to play baseball with those people.

In time, athletes like Torii will come to realize having a gay team mate is no big deal. But the clubhouse/locker room has never been at the leading edge of tolerance for differences, so it should come as no surprise that such is the case on this issue, as well.

I'm not a big Torii Hunter fan. I think he has always tended to speak too quickly without giving enough thought to what he's saying. In this case, though, I think he simply gave voice to a view that most players his age probably still hold, so I'm less inclined to condemn him for it, especially given that I think an open discussion of the topic is one way to bring about change a bit quicker.
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#44 TheLeviathan

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 09:51 AM

I understand the "right to have an opinion" but not all opinions are equal, especially in the case of hate-filled ones. What I mean is that "entitled opinion" often merely leads to agree to disagree discussions. But that isn't aligned, at all, with the pursuit of truth (not capital T Truth, but little t truth). The truth is that there is nothing wrong with being gay. There is no way around that and it isn't simply open for valid disagreement because there is no rational basis whatsoever for the contrary view.


I think you're letting your personal views influence the section in bold. I'm not even sure capital T truth applies to judgements about sexuality, that's a bizarre stance. In any case, I agree that it shouldn't tell us to stop pushing against hate-filled opinions. But I get ruffled when we try to silence negative opinions by matching their hate with our own rather than convincing them differently. I despise his opinion too and we should aggressively fight that opinion. But fighting hate with hate doesn't seem too "capital T" inspired either.

Other than that, it is simply off limits to refer to not including other groups or being openly against them. Substitute almost anything else into Torii's comments and he would face much more trouble.


Except that he has made racists comments and didn't face all that much trouble then either.

#45 TheLeviathan

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 09:54 AM

It wouldn't be any more or less idiotic but it puts the argument into far less socially acceptable terms for those that still cling to the "gay people are less than me because I disagree with their lifestyle" camp.


He already said that too about fake blacks.....that story went aside pretty quickly too. I get people's rush to defend homosexual men and women right now because it is a highly sensitive issue, but I think it's causing some lost perspective. He has a right to be a racist, homophobic douchebag. He's also not skating away with this any more or less than he did when he made his racist comments.

#46 righty8383

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 09:55 AM

Apparently Torii Hunter had a similar religious upbringing to mine. And regardless of what the writer may have said, MANY main stream Christian churches do not consider gay behavior to be acceptable. That does not mean that they condemn a person for being gay but it does mean that they believe that sexual acts should be within the confines of marriage between 2 persons of the opposite sex -- thus sex between persons of the same gender is unacceptable in the same way that adultery is unacceptable.

And yes, an openly gay teammate has the potential to be very divisive on a team.

There's a reason that there are red and blue states and moral issues such as this one are part of the "great divide".

And as much as I may vote like a liberal when it comes right down to it on a personal level, my religious upbringing is pretty hard to ignore. That doesn't mean I hate gays but it also doesn't mean that I'm comfortable with gay behavior.


I don't know how you feel about sexual orientation being a choice or not. But to me it is completely illogical to suggest it is a choice. That being the case, gays feel the same sexual urges that staight people do. Are you saying they should spend thier entire lives suppressing those urges because the church says its wrong? This is completely unrealistic if you ask me.

#47 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 09:58 AM

Like Hunter, I'm a Christian, so I understand his comments with regard to behavior that runs contrary to his religious upbringing. But if I had the opportunity to discuss this with Torii, I would ask him if he's ever had a team mate who had sex outside of marriage or who couldn't utter a sentence without taking the Lord's name in vain. I suspect that if he thought about it for long, he'd realize that every day he spends in the clubhouse he shares it with people who lead lifestyles that, in some respect, run counter to his religious beliefs and yet he manages just fine to play baseball with those people.


Ding ding ding. This is exactly why we should bring the hammer down on these types of statements. Hunter is doing what too many Christians do today... Condemning some "anti-Christian" behavior because they're allowed to do it socially while ignoring other, oft-times more damaging, "anti-Christian" behavior. I guarantee that Hunter has played with some "Christians" who have cheated on their spouses, done horrible things contrary to their supposed Christian beliefs, yet he hasn't said jack**** about them or their actions.

#48 Mike Sixel

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 10:06 AM

Even though those other things clearly are choices, Brock.....I like that Tori is public with his fears and bigotry. If only everyone else was that open, we could have a real conversation about these things. I just don't get the obsession with homosexuality that many have, like it is some thing that is worse than adulterous behavior, or drug use, or drinking and driving, or any number of other things that are clearly harmful. I just don't get the obsession.

I don't know, it is a site to discuss sports, not airline safety.....maybe we should take it less seriously?


#49 Jim Crikket

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 10:08 AM

Apparently Torii Hunter had a similar religious upbringing to mine. And regardless of what the writer may have said, MANY main stream Christian churches do not consider gay behavior to be acceptable. That does not mean that they condemn a person for being gay but it does mean that they believe that sexual acts should be within the confines of marriage between 2 persons of the opposite sex -- thus sex between persons of the same gender is unacceptable in the same way that adultery is unacceptable.

And yes, an openly gay teammate has the potential to be very divisive on a team.

There's a reason that there are red and blue states and moral issues such as this one are part of the "great divide".

And as much as I may vote like a liberal when it comes right down to it on a personal level, my religious upbringing is pretty hard to ignore. That doesn't mean I hate gays but it also doesn't mean that I'm comfortable with gay behavior.


JB, I'd imagine you and I had similar upbringings, as well.

You're right, having an openly gay team mate has the potential to be very divisive on a team. The thing is, they were saying the same thing about people of Torii's complexion a couple generations ago and when integration of the clubhouse happened, it WAS very divisive. But people got over it and, in time, I believe they'll get over this issue, as well.

As for being uncomfortable with gay behavior, I understand that the locker room is a potentially challenging place for this issue, but I don't think it's an insurmountable challenge.
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#50 Shane Wahl

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 10:09 AM

Also, um, it would seem that only as a matter of some church-led interpretations of the Bible could one ever really claim that Christianity deems homosexual activity as immoral. There is almost no actual religious underpinning behind the anti-gay position. If there is, then there is also WAY more anti-women views, etc. etc.

#51 Shane Wahl

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 10:10 AM

Openly gay teammates in the locker room vs. closeted gay teammates in the locker room . . . hmm Torii. You are more comfortable around suppressed homosexuality in a locker room? Better re-think that.

#52 Mchans24

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 10:15 AM

I always find it funny when people bash someone for having an opinion that is different from there own. I applaud him for being honest, knowing full well he will get bashed for it. Calling him a racist or a bigot because he believes in the teachings of his childhood and the church is being guilty of the Same accusations you are placing on Hunter yourself. The fact is: it would be difficult and awkward to have a gay man in any locker room! BTW, don't try to compare this to racism, I haven't seen any gay people having there houses burned down and being hung from a tree in the front yard.

#53 Jim Crikket

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 10:16 AM

Brock, if Torii hasn't said "jack" about other non-Christian behavior, it's probably simply because he hasn't been asked about it by a writer. He's never been one to withhold his opinion when asked about a subject. I suspect he would never have said what he did about a potential openly gay team mate, either, if he hadn't been asked a direct question.
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#54 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 10:26 AM

BTW, don't try to compare this to racism, I haven't seen any gay people having there houses burned down and being hung from a tree in the front yard.


Matthew Shepard would argue this point but since he's dead and all, it's pretty tough for him to make much of an argument about anything.

I mean, seriously.

#55 Kobs

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 10:27 AM

I would feel uncomfortable with a **** like Torii Hunter in my locker room.

#56 DaveW

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 10:29 AM

I always find it funny when people bash someone for having an opinion that is different from there own. I applaud him for being honest, knowing full well he will get bashed for it. Calling him a racist or a bigot because he believes in the teachings of his childhood and the church is being guilty of the Same accusations you are placing on Hunter yourself. The fact is: it would be difficult and awkward to have a gay man in any locker room!.


No actually it's not difficult and awkward.

Also I am catholic so people really need to stop with this "Christian values" bull****. It's a lazy excuse for someone to be a bigot.

#57 Jim Crikket

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 10:32 AM

I always find it funny when people bash someone for having an opinion that is different from there own. I applaud him for being honest, knowing full well he will get bashed for it. Calling him a racist or a bigot because he believes in the teachings of his childhood and the church is being guilty of the Same accusations you are placing on Hunter yourself. The fact is: it would be difficult and awkward to have a gay man in any locker room! BTW, don't try to compare this to racism, I haven't seen any gay people having there houses burned down and being hung from a tree in the front yard.


I'm not sure a direct comparison to racial discrimination is 100% appropriate, either, but if you think the reason is that there have not been considerable instances of violence against homosexuals, you've either chosen to ignore it or just haven't bothered paying attention to those news items. It has happened... even in a place as supposedly liberal as Minnesota.
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#58 Craig Arko

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 10:32 AM

I believe this will play out like another event in history (that occurred in 1947):

Some Dodger players insinuated they would sit out rather than play alongside Robinson. The brewing mutiny ended when Dodgers management took a stand for Robinson. Manager Leo Durocher informed the team, "I do not care if the guy is yellow or black, or if he has stripes like a ****in' zebra. I'm the manager of this team, and I say he plays. What's more, I say he can make us all rich. And if any of you cannot use the money, I will see that you are all traded."

#59 righty8383

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 10:35 AM

I haven't seen any gay people having there houses burned down and being hung from a tree in the front yard.


Back when blacks were being treated this way, There were almost no openly gay people because they knew what could happen if they came out. This is a terrible analogy.

#60 Riverbrian

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 10:37 AM

For all the baseball metric talent in this room... Social stats not so much apparently.

Not only do we want our hitters to OPS over .700 or we call them them garbage... In addition to being better than average ball players... They must also be perfect human beings based on our own minds eye or we will call them Garbage. Not only do we want the perfect ballplayer and the perfect human being. We also want them to be accessible and available for interviews and if they turn down an autograph or interview... they are obviously pricks. Oh yeah... We also want them to be honest... If they are not... They are also liars... We want the perfect ballplayer... the perfect human being and the perfect interview and It is expected that these players develop these perfections counter to national and regional psycographics.

We live in a country where gay wasn't allowed in the military until just 3 months ago. Unless of course you snuck in without telling anyone... If that's the case... We won't ask you... as long as you don't tell us... If you do tell us by mistake... we will discharge you... Over 18 years of DADT... 14,000 plus military personnel were thrown out for gayness in the United States of America... Home of the Brave... And Home of the Free according to the song.

Obviously someone else feels the way Torii Hunter does because we were tossing them out of the military.

Socials stats will tell you that 34% (1 out of 3) of all Americans do not want anybody gay or lesbian moving into the house next door and that percentage is significantly higher among Men (Torii) and significantly higher among blacks (Torii) and significantly higher in the south (Torii). Does anyone expect the percentages to be different inside clubhouses. Apparently some do!

Now before anyone gets outraged by my comments... Please consider that statistics show that nearly all Americans hold a minority opinion of some sort. That means that you... I mean you... probably hold a belief that is in the minority... Some big... Some small... But viewpoints exist everywhere and expecting perfection from athletes is just goofy and I'm sorry... Hypocritical.

Also please consider that I (Riverbrian) personally voted against North Dakota Constitutional Measure 1 in 2004. A measure that made it Unconstitutional to recognize or perform same sex marriage. I was one of 27% as the measure overwhelmingly passed.

I'm not defending the comments of Torii Hunter. I see things differently... I'm saying quit sticking a microphone in the face of athletes and asking them social questions and then get pissed about the answers you get. The percentages are pretty good that someone has a stupid opinion and the percentages are pretty good that someone is going to be pissed about the answer.

Failing that... Don't be pissed when the sensible moderate non committal cliche answers are the normal answers to benign questions like... what is your favorite Pizza? I'm afraid we leave the GM's... Managers and ballplayers no choice... The smart thing to do is shut up and stay silent.

Edited by Riverbrian, 31 December 2012 - 10:41 AM.