I am writing in regard to the Major League Baseball (MLB) Anti-Hazing & Anti-Bullying policy. Specifically, how the policy affects players in the LGBT community. MLB has stated that they’re a diverse organization, and are inclusive of everyone; currently, this isn’t the case.
There are currently no openly gay, bisexual or transgender men playing professional baseball. Billie Jean King, tennis legend and part owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, said in an interview with Outsports that there are no out, gay MLB players because “… nobody feels safe to come out. It’s still an old boys club.”
This can be seen by the use of homophobic slurs by players. George Springer of the Houston Astros used a slur against an umpire earlier this year, and in 2017, Matt Joyce of the Oakland Athletics and Kevin Pillar of the Toronto Blue Jays were suspended for using homophobic slurs. In 2015, National League All-Star Daniel Murphy said he believed being gay was a “lifestyle,” and one he disagreed with. It is hard to imagine LGBT players feeling comfortable enough to come out when their teammates use slurs and think being gay is a “lifestyle.”
Continuing to educate players and using punishment that is swift when homophobic situations arise can help to eliminate the anti-gay culture that baseball is steeped in. Inclusion of everyone, regardless of their background, is one of the values that MLB lists in their mission statement –– it is past time they start acting like it.