by Eric Sasson
Originally published: April 17, 2017
Billy Bean is devoted to to baseball. For nearly 10 years, Bean played outfielder for the Tigers, Dodgers, and Padres, and in 1999 he became the second Major League Baseball player to come out of the closet, and the first to do so publicly, in an interview with the Miami Herald. In 2014, Bean returned to MLB when the league named him its first Ambassador for Inclusion, a role where he advises the commissioner on human rights issues, especially those that affect the LGBTQ community and antibullying efforts. He sees his job as an opportunity to communicate with players, coaches, managers, umpires, employees, and other club stakeholders to ensure an equitable, inclusive, and supportive workplace.
GOOD spoke with Bean about his first three years on the job, and how the environment in professional sports has changed, especially in light of recent decisions by the NBA and NFL to take stands against cities that sanction discrimination.