The story originated in the Los Angeles Times and was picked up by Yahoo Sports. The Times was exploring the situation for gay athletes in professional sports, bemoaning the fact that virtually no pro athletes have come out publicly as gay. Among those quoted by Times reporter Kevin Baxter was Torii Hunter, who opined that a teammate who came out could divide a team:
"For me, as a Christian … I will be uncomfortable because in all my teachings and all my learning, biblically, it's not right. It will be difficult and uncomfortable."
Guess what. Hunter now says he was misrepresented by Baxter. But the Times didn't have the guts to update their story; the update, first posted by Hunter on Twitter, was published in the Yahoo Sports article:
"I'm very disappointed in Kevin Baxter's article in which my quotes and feelings have been misrepresented. He took two completely separate quotes and made them into one quote that does not express how I feel as a Christian or a human being . I have love and respect for all human beings regardless of race, color or sexual orientation. I am not perfect and try hard to live the best life I can and treat all people with respect. If you know me you know that I am not anti anything and to be portrayed as anti-gay in this article is hurtful and just not true".
Combining two separate quotes into one is deliberate manipulation and misrepresentation. And while Hunter said it would be difficult and uncomfortable to have an openly gay teammate, he did NOT say it would be impossible. A two-year, $26-million contract with the Detroit Tigers motivates him to be professional enough to make it possible.
This is exactly why the national media is considered the enemy. They routinely lie and smear people, tear down the wall between hard news and editorialization, and then decide they're not making enough profits from it so they go crawling behind pay walls. Recently the Anchorage Daily News crawled behind a metered pay wall. Have they given us a better product in exchange? No -- they still have the same old hack columnists Shannyn Moore, Paul Jenkins, and the absolutely execrable Elise Paktokak. If they're going to ask us to pay to read their stories, they have an obligation to give us stories we can trust and are worth reading.
Reaction: Over 11,600 comments appended to the Yahoo story, most supporting Hunter. Likewise most of the comments appended to the WDIV Channel 4 story are supportive of Hunter as well. The message to gays is that we don't mind if you're gay, but we're tired of you crusading for it and demanding that we kiss your ring because of it; simply STFU and be gay. Here are a few comments that stand out:
RAGNAROK 20 hours ago (Yahoo):
David Brown, shut up with your holier than thou words of wisdom. Dude has the right to feel the way does without being slammed for his beliefs. So tired of you progressive nutbags shoving your agenda down everyone's throats (pun intended) and calling it the new norm when more than half of the country doesn't agree with you. Leave the man alone. He was a great player and a classy person when he played here for the Angels.
Watchdog 11 hours ago (Yahoo):
I've always been tolerant to the differences in people.....I don't judge. But, I don't want to share a locker room with some dude eyeballing other dudes stuff. It is an uncomfortable feeling that a lot of people share. Be gay, it's alright with me.....but don't get in my face about it.
Mayers59 7 hours ago (Yahoo):
With all the back and forth in the comments section, how could anyone question if it would cause a rift in the locker room. Of course it would depending on HOW openly gay the player decided to be. If he used the microphone to constantly promote his gayness, the yeah. It would be a huge problem with a lot of players.
smdog 16 hours ago (WDIV):
The article in question paints Hunter as a vocal bigot and provides some significant evidence and second-hand accounts. The quotes given above are small snippets of what Hunter actually said to the reporter and what was placed into the article.
This really is nothing new. African Americans are typically very vocal about hating homosexuality. IMHO it's because the movement for gay rights is so often compared to black rights, and to them nothing can compare. Whether or not that's true, is not for me to say.