A member of the family that owns the Chicago Cubs, admitted that they considered not trading for second baseman Daniel Murphy because of the player’s Christian views about homosexuality.
The Cubs arranged a trade for Murphy with the Washington Nationals last week, and this week Cubs co-owner Laura Ricketts admitted on Twitter that they “consulted” about taking on Murphy because he once expressed his Bible-based disagreement with the gay lifestyle, USA Today reported.
“Since several people have asked…yes, I was consulted prior to the Daniel Murphy trade,” Ricketts wrote. “There were several thoughtful conversations among Cubs executives, my brothers and me, as well as with Billy Bean, MLB’s Ambassador for Inclusion and the subject of Daniel’s 2015 comments.”
Since several people have asked…yes, I was consulted prior to the Daniel Murphy trade. There were several thoughtful conversations among Cubs executives, my brothers and me, as well as with Billy Bean, MLB’s Ambassador for Inclusion and the subject of Daniel’s 2015 comments.
— Laura Ricketts (@LMRicketts) August 26, 2018
Ricketts, who is herself openly gay, said that the Cubs had “sensitivities on the matter” but she ultimately decided in favor of the trade.
Murphy, a devout Christian, was attacked by gay rights groups for a 2015 interview where he said he disagrees with the “lifestyle” of former player Billy Bean, an openly gay player.
“I disagree with his lifestyle,” Murphy said in March of 2015.
But Murphy went on to say that his personal feeling about homosexuality would not prevent him from working with gay players.
“I do disagree with the fact that Billy is a homosexual,” Murphy added. “That doesn’t mean I can’t still invest in him and get to know him. I don’t think the fact that someone is a homosexual should completely shut the door on investing in them in a relational aspect. Getting to know him. That, I would say, you can still accept them, but I do disagree with the lifestyle, 100 percent.”
Murphy also said Christians need to articulate their positions more fully in public debates:
Maybe, as a Christian, that we haven’t been as articulate enough in describing what our actual stance is on homosexuality. We love the people. We disagree the lifestyle. That’s the way I would describe it for me. It’s the same way that there are aspects of my life that I’m trying to surrender to Christ in my own life. There’s a great deal of many things, like my pride. I just think that as a believer trying to articulate it in a way that says just because I disagree with the lifestyle doesn’t mean I’m just never going to speak to Billy Bean every time he walks through the door. That’s not love. That’s not love at all.
Indeed, Ricketts said she found that Murphy and Bean developed a working friendship.
But Murphy’s comments sent many gay advocates and LGBTQ activists into overdrive against the player, attacks that Ricketts was forced to acknowledge in her tweet about his trade and concerns that the team felt necessary to take into account.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.