The Cubs waiver-wire acquisition of Daniel Murphy would be seen as the perfect type of transaction if all we saw were his numbers. Murphy has had a very hot second half, slashing .342/.373/.528 in the second half, having recovered from injury.
Unfortunately, Daniel Murphy is a person, not just his numbers. And Murphy is on the record as “disagreeing” with the “gay lifestyle”, comments Murphy hasn’t ever really walked back to any degree. Murphy was always going to be asked about those comments in Chicago, but when he got the question today, it wasn’t apparent that he expected it.
— Laurence Holmes (@LaurenceWHolmes) August 23, 2018
Do you have a message for gay fans that may have said “Okay, I’m not going to root for the Cubs” now that you’re here?
Oh dear. I would hope you would root for the Cubs.
That’s the answer? In an odd, twisted way, it’s almost refreshing; had Murphy come out with a prepared statement that was clearly vetted through Cubs PR, it wouldn’t have necessarily been any more satisfying. Instead, as with Chicago’s trade for Aroldis Chapman a few years back when Chapman seemed unprepared (and wasn’t given a professional translator) for questions about his domestic violence suspension.
But the counter to that is that rather than looking like the Cubs are trying to be honest, it makes it seem like the Cubs, as an organization, had given no thought to the backlash they’d face by acquiring Murphy, and in turn that makes the Cubs look like they didn’t consider his thoughts on the “gay lifestyle” to be an issue to begin with.
Some people can separate Murphy’s play from his beliefs. And, sure, plenty of MLB players probably agree with Murphy, privately, but there’s an obvious difference between keeping those thoughts to yourself versus using your platform to speak out in ways that are hurtful to LGTBQ people. But for many, especially LGTBQ fans, it’s a bridge too far.
Oh, and there’s this: on Sunday the Cubs will host their second of two Pride Night events on the season.