Dear Mr. Murphy,
As a gay man, life-long Mets fan, and father of a budding Mets fan, I feel compelled to reach out to you, as you have certainly reached me with your feelings regarding my family.
To me, you are a great baseball player who has demonstrated commitment and determination when faced with adversity. I have followed you in your quest to become an All-Star second baseman and truly admire what you have accomplished.
To my son, you are more -- you are a role model. I understand that may not have been something you signed up for, but for better or worse, for him and others like him, you are larger than life.
Let me try to explain why what you said was not an innocuous sound byte, but rather an offensive statement. First, I do not have a lifestyle. I didn't choose my sexuality the same way you didn't choose yours. Second, being gay is not what defines me, but rather it is just one important part of who I am. So when you say that you disagree with who I am, you are also disagreeing with my son and my family. We are not a lifestyle choice -- we are a family.
Even though I am extremely disappointed and hurt by your remarks, I am grateful that you spoke your mind, as it has started a national conversation. The discussions taking place today on social media, in bars and churches, and around the dining room table are exactly how GLBT progress is achieved.
I know it is hard moving to an unfamiliar position (think about your transition to second base), but with faith, openness and commitment, positive change can truly happen.
Some wonder how the gay rights movement has progressed so well so fast. To me it is quite simple: once you recognize that your brother, son, neighbor, or co-worker is gay, you don't just continue to "love him" but you learn to actually accept and respect him for who he is as a person -- and that changes everything.
So Mr. Murphy, thank you for starting a very important dialogue. My son and I will be travelling out from San Francisco to root on our Mets this weekend in Port St. Lucie. If you are around we would love to meet you and continue the conversation in person.
Thank you for your time.
All the best,
Jon and Sammy