When Athlete Ally began discussions with Major League baseball about forming a strategic alliance to make LGBT inclusion a major part of the League’s efforts, there was one significant individual who stood out as a perfect person to help. Billy Bean, formerly a prolific player in his own right and now an openly gay man and an LGBT advocate, is coming back to baseball. This time around, he’s serving as MLB’s Inclusion Ambassador. Ken Rosenthal has the full story for FOX Sports, an except of which is below.
“Baseball’s first move toward becoming more welcoming to the LGBT community was an announcement at FanFest during All-Star Week 2013.
In response to an inquiry from the New York Attorney General’s office, baseball had created a workplace code of conduct, distributing it to every major- and minor-league player. The new policy also included training and a centralized complaint system to report harassment and discrimination.
Around that same time, baseball officials began speaking with Athlete Ally, the non-profit that carries the motto, “Victory Through Unity,” works to make sports more inclusive and takes a stand against homophobia and transphobia.
Sam Marchiano, a founding board member of Athlete Ally, had approached Torre about the organization at Yogi Berra’s golf tournament in May 2013. Marchiano, a former journalist and sportscaster, had ties to baseball – her previous career stops had included the New York Daily News, FOX Sports and MLB.com.
And baseball was ready to hear what Marchiano and Athlete Ally’s executive director, Hudson Taylor, had to say.”