Billy Bean knows the fear, and the trauma, provoked by hiding his sexual orientation for the sake of his career. Through his own experience, and through conversations with front-office friends forced to keep their private lives secret, Bean understands why no active MLB player, manager or executive has identified himself as gay.
“I have spoken many times with people who work in Major League Baseball, and they are afraid to come out, because they don’t know how their owners and superiors would respond,” said Bean, who played for the Tigers, Dodgers and Padres from 1987-1995.
The 47-year-old, who now works in real estate in Miami, was glad to see baseball’s newest collective bargaining agreement address sexual orientation, but did not believe that wording alone would create the necessary changes.
The new CBA, released Tuesday, added the words “sexual orientation” to its section on discrimination. This development was first reported by the Daily News, and later confirmed by a news release, issued jointly by MLB and the Players’ Association, that read, “Non-discrimination based on sexual orientation were added to Article XV.
Article XV, Section A of MLB’s expiring Basic Agreement, in effect from 2006-2011, states: “The provisions of this Agreement shall be applied to all Players covered by this Agreement without regard to race, color, religion or national origin.”
In the new agreement, the words “sexual orientation” were added to Article XV. Michael Weiner, the union’s executive director, said that the decision was not motivated by requests from his membership, but by “the lawyers on both sides just recognizing that it should be there.”
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