I’ve been talking with Sean for a long time asking him what he wanted me to write about. His response was a simple, “Whatever you want. You know the Mets, write about them.”
With those specific parameters in place, I set out finding a topic to introduce myself to all his readers. So, hi everybody. I’m Joe, a current resident of Orlando, FL who is a sometimes independent pro wrestler, and a diehard Mets and Pittsburgh Penguins fan. I’m not a journalist, nor will I pretend to be, but I’ve been waiting for something to strike me to write about instead of the usual, “The Mets shouldn’t suck as bad this year.” Yesterday, I got my something.
The Mets have made a lot of headlines – as we sit here eight minutes into spring training so far – for their constant contender and playoff chatter. Well, yesterday, the team’s second-baseman, Daniel Murphy, made headlines for a different reason: for saying he doesn’t agree with the homosexual lifestyle of Billy Bean who is baseball’s ambassador for inclusion, [Note from Sean: Not the same Billy Beane from the A’s] which is a title I’ve never heard of up until yesterday.
I’m not religious. I was born and raised Catholic, but once I hit high school, I realized religion wasn’t for me and that it seemed to start more arguments than it ended. Just my personal opinion. Murph is a Christian and apparently very devout in his beliefs. Hey, if that works for him, great. I’m not here to push an agenda. But he is.
Murphy reasoned that being gay wouldn’t stop him from having a relationship of some sort with a person, but that he disagreed with the lifestyle “100 percent.” OK, clearly he’s not an angry, stereotypical gay basher. So, that’s a plus. Whew. Dodged a bullet.
But here’s where I get upset. Saying you “disagree” with someone’s homosexuality is fucking ridiculous. It’s not an opinion. It’s not like we’re comparing pizza places. That’s like someone saying they disagree with my male pattern baldness as if I had a fucking choice in the matter. If Billy Bean did a presser today and “disagreed” with Murphy being straight, how ludicrous would that sound? By disagreeing with a major aspect of someone’s life, you are dismissing them as a person. Plain and simple.
This is the typical “hate the sin, not the sinner” bullshit that people like to reason protects them from being criticized when they hide behind religion. It’s bullshit. It’s cowardly. I don’t think Daniel Murphy is a bad person or a closet homophobe, but just because you say things in the name of Jesus doesn’t mean you are free from being outed as ignorant.
Daniel Murphy is entitled to his religious beliefs. Daniel Murphy is entitled to express his views. I would never say he isn’t. But I can’t get around the fact that his comments – when taken at face value – are biased and bigoted. They may not be in the tone and connontation that we’ve come to expect from such comments, but the denotation remains the same.
I played sports my entire life through college and have been involved in professional wrestling for the last 14 years so I know a little bit about being in locker rooms and what goes on and what gets said. This is obviously not the worst we’ve ever heard. But that’s not a reason to celebrate. You don’t get to hide behind religion and freedom of speech when you have a clearly ignorant view of something as simple as people. You can think it. You can say it. But don’t get salty when you get the feedback for it.
So, Murph, I feel bad for you. Maybe you (and others feeling similarly disagreeable) can learn something from a great leader named Abraham Lincoln who – in his starring role in BILL & TED’S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE – said, “Be excellent to each other.”