Phillies Get a Lesson in Inclusivity at Spring Training Camp

Major League Baseball's Ambassador of Inclusion, Billy Bean.

Major League Baseball’s Ambassador of Inclusion, Billy Bean.

When former professional baseball player Billy Bean was appointed Major League Baseball’s Ambassador for Inclusion last July, the Phillies were among the first teams to invite the openly gay speaker to share his message of inclusivity. According to, he showed up this afternoon to speak to members of the Phillies’ Major and Minor League teams on embracing all forms of acceptance.

“There’s a message of complete acceptance. It doesn’t mean that it’s specifically to LGBT people like myself. It’s for women. It’s for every race, every religion,” Bean said.

Bean has been invited to speak to 14 teams, but Philadelphia is the first camp where he spoke to both Major and Minor League Players. When he was finished, he played ball with teammates in the outfield, giving them a chance to answer questions in a one-on-one setting. “Today is a win for the Phillies,” Bean said. “The world didn’t stop spinning.”

Bean was in the news last week when he went to give a similar talk to the Mets. Player Daniel Murphy ruffled some feathers when he told reporters that he disagreed with Bean’s lifestyle. “I do disagree with the fact that Billy is a homosexual,” he said. “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.”

Bean has written an open letter responding to Murphy’s statement, and he even spoke about it this afternoon with the Phillies. “I’m sure you guys are aware … I went to see the Mets, and Daniel Murphy had some comments. I wrote that I support his opinion 100 percent, because it’s vital that we have a conversation so people can grow a little bit. It’s like a relationship.”