Chicago Cubs infielder Daniel Murphy was brought into the fold to make an impact on the team’s offense, but comments he made in the past about homosexuality caused controversy among some fans when he was acquired earlier this week.
Murphy, who drove in a run in his Cubs’ debut Wednesday, made the comments in 2015 about former player Billy Bean, who came out as gay following his career.
Bean, who is now MLB’s Ambassador of Inclusion, spoke with Cubs G.M. Jed Hoyer about Murphy’s comments before the team acquired him, the executive told reporters on Wednesday in Detroit.
“We wanted to get his impression of it,” Hoyer said. “He was really positive and thought the organization could really benefit from his presence. We felt it was important to make that phone call.”
Bean and Murphy have struck up a friendship since the infielder made the comments in 2015, saying that he “disagreed with (the gay) lifestyle.”
“I do disagree with the fact that Bean is a homosexual,” Murphy said in the 2015 interview while he was with the Mets. “That doesn’t mean I can’t still invest in him and get to know him. We (as Christians) love the people, but we disagree with the lifestyle.”
Hoyer says that the Cubs consulted with Bean before trading for Murphy, and that they were given an endorsement to execute the deal.
“We knew about their relationship and the friendship they’ve struck up,” he said in a radio interview Thursday. “We made that call. That’s something that was important before we moved forward.”
The issue likely won’t die down any time soon, as the Cubs are set to host their annual “Out at Wrigley” event on Sunday to support LGBT inclusion at MLB ballparks.