In a recent Los Angeles Times story, Detroit Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter was quoted as saying his Christian beliefs would make it "difficult and uncomfortable" for him to accept an openly gay teammate.
Chris Kluwe, the Minnesota Vikings punter who has publicly advocated for same-sex marriage, criticized Hunter's comment as "bigotry." Others used social media to support Hunter, saying he was entitled to free speech.
Me? I believe Hunter's statement could prove constructive - but not because I agree with him. In fact, I don't. Rather, Hunter has inadvertently provided baseball with the impetus to begin serious preparations for the sport's next great social responsibility. One day, perhaps not long from now, baseball will have an openly gay player. And the only way for the sport to live up to its transformative legacy is to encourage a candid, informed discussion on the subject until that moment arrives.
Hunter, a four-time All-Star with nearly...