In a historic day for Major League Baseball, Milwaukee Brewers farmhand David Denson has revealed himself to be gay, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (via the Associated Press).
Denson, 20, was drafted in the 15th round of the MLB Draft 2013 by the Brewers. Just in his third professional season, the left-handed hitter reached out to the paper with the help of former MLB player and fellow gay man Billy Bean to tell his story.
“Talking with my teammates, they gave me the confidence I needed, coming out to them. They said, ‘You’re still our teammate. You’re still our brother. We kind of had an idea, but your sexuality has nothing to do with your ability. You’re still a ballplayer at the end of the day. We don’t treat you any different. We’ve got your back.'”
With the announcement, Denson becomes the first active baseball player affiliated with the MLB to come out as gay during his playing career. Earlier this year, baseball player Sean Conroy came out, becoming the first professional baseball player to announce that he is gay. However, Conroy plays in the Pacific Association, an organization that is not affiliated with MLB.
Adding onto his huge announcement, Denson talked about the relief he is experiencing having taken the considerable load off his chest.
“That was a giant relief for me. I never wanted to feel like I was forcing it on them. It just happened. The outcome was amazing. It was nice to know my teammates see me for who I am, not my sexuality.”
Currently, Denson is not considered much of a prospect. In 2015, he has split time between Single-A Wisconsin and Helena Brewers in Rookie Ball. Combined, he is hitting just .227 with four HR and 26 RBI in the minors this year. Overall, he is just a .238 hitter with 15 HR and 75 RBI in his professional career.
But an announcement of this magnitude will put Denson in the forefront of an movement and culture that will accept gay athletes into professional sports. In recent years, we’ve seen athletes and entertainers come out to reveal their true sexual orientation. In football, Michael Sam, in basketball, Jason Collins, and in WWE, Darren Young.
Those are just some of the names that have revealed their preference and have been praised and commended for their bravery and courage to be true to themselves.
On Saturday evening, Denson went 0-for-5 with an RBI in Helena’s 8-7 loss to Idaho Falls. Yet, his biggest hit has delivered a promising future to gay baseball players in the future.
[Image via MLB.com]