Starting pitcher Dillon Gee of the New York Mets apparently had a wardrobe malfunction when he appeared in a gun control-related photo “shoot” on Tuesday in which all the players wore orange shirts.
Calling it a miscommunication, Gee didn’t realize that the team picture was in support of the “wear orange” gun violence awareness initiative sponsored by Michael Bloomberg’s advocacy group, Everyday for Gun Safety. Bloomberg, the former NYC mayor, is a well-known and outspoken gun control proponent.
According to the Bloomberg group, the Mets are the first professional sports team to join the “wear orange” campaign, which has already attracted celebrity support.
“The color orange symbolizes the value of human life. Hunters wear orange to alert other hunters that they’re there — as a way to take care of their own life and the lives of others,” the website explains.
Like many MLB players, Gee is an avid hunter and angler and was under the impression the photo was an effort to promote gun safety.
On Wednesday, the right-hander made it clear on Twitter that he doesn’t support Bloomberg or gun control.
On Thursday, Gee — who has just come off the disabled list — further explained to the New York Daily News that there was no heat with Mets management over this issue and moreover that he had no intention of stirring up a debate about gun control.
“Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I just didn’t like being lumped in with something I don’t support… I don’t care what they support or their views on a particular subject. I’ll just not be involved if it goes against mine…That is all that would have happened if we had not had a miscommunication last week… So I’m not pointing fingers. Just clearing up that I don’t support the (law) of gun control. I’m still against gun violence. But they are totally different subjects.”
A spokesman for the Mets seemed okay with Gee coming forward and that “the team understands that they have several players and employees who are hunters and believe in gun safety,” NJ.com reported.
Parenthetically, during spring training, Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy got into some hot water when he revealed that he disagreed with the gay lifestyle “100 percent” although he would have no problem with a gay teammate.
Dillon Gee told Newsday that he grew up around guns in Texas.
“I don’t view [a gun] as like dangerous because that by itself sitting there doesn’t hurt anybody. If it’s in the wrong hands it does, but so does a rock. I own plenty of guns. I’ve never hurt anybody. That’s why I don’t think the whole thing correlates together. I think criminals will always do bad things. That’s kind of my opinion.”
[image via Twitter]