The Colorado Rockies baseball team on Tuesday night criticized relief pitcher Todd Jones's recent antigay remarks in a newspaper interview, saying the comments were "unfortunate" and do not reflect the team's views. Jones, a native of Marietta, Ga., told The Denver Post on Sunday that he would not want to have a gay teammate. The comments were part of an entertainment story about the Broadway play Take Me Out, in which a major league baseball player announces he is gay.
The article compares the story line of the play with what might happen if a real-life player announced he were gay. "I wouldn't want a gay guy being around me," Jones told the paper. "It's got nothing to do with me being scared. That's the problem: All these people say he's got all these rights. Yeah, he's got rights or whatever, but he shouldn't walk around proud. It's like he's rubbing it in our face. 'See me, Hear me roar.' We're not trying to be close-minded, but then again, why be confrontational when you don't really have to be?" Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Mark Grace was also interviewed for the story, but he said most players probably would not be threatened by a gay teammate.
The Rockies issued a statement on the team's Web site saying that the team does not share Jones's views, opinions, or attitudes. "As an organization and as a part of this community, we are committed to providing an environment for our employees and fans that is free of discrimination and prejudice, regardless of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, or status as a veteran," team president Keli McGregor said. Jones also commented in his interview that a gay player would have to be very good, "because if [the team] thinks for one minute he's disrupting the clubhouse, if he doesn't hit 50 homers or win 20 games, they're not going to put up with that."