Tyler Dunnington Speaks on Anti-Gay Comments


Tyler Dunnington, part of Cardinals’ Class-A club, left baseball because of “derogatory comments”.

Former St. Louis Cardinals minor leaguer Tyler Dunnington has called out the organization, saying he experienced homophobia during his short career. Dunnington did not come out during his time in baseball, but told Outsports.com in an email that he overheard “both coaches and players make remarks on killing gay people” when he was with the Rookie level and Class-A level teams in the organization.

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The 24-year old Dunnington, who is gay, left the Cardinals after the 2014 season, deciding to retire before the start of spring training in 2015. He stated that he was “miserable” during his time in baseball and “needed to hang up my cleats for my own sanity.” The article in Outsports makes specific reference to an incident during Dunnington’s days in college, that bragged about the murder of Michael Shepard. Shepard was tortured and left to die outside Laramie, Wyoming, before lying in a hospital for five days and succumbing to his injuries.

The coach bragged that “we kill gay people in Wyoming”. That sort of language only continued once he went to the Florida Gulf Coast Cardinals, and he decided to retire after the 2014 season. Dunnington stated that he felt that he had to make a choice between an out gay man and a baseball player. He chose the former.

In his email, Dunnington expressed regret that he had not spoken sooner, lamenting that he could have “[changed] the game” for the better if he had come out while a member of the Cardinals organization.

In response to Dunnington’s comments, General Manager John Mozeliak expressed his disappointment, saying that the organization will cooperate with Major League Baseball and its chief officer of inclusion, Billy Bean. Bean is a former major leaguer who came out after he retired. To this day, no active Major League player has publicly come out as gay while a member of a team. One might hope that while Dunnington thinks it is too late, his actions inspire a future Major Leaguer to come out while still on the field.

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