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MLB excepting gay rights
2014 Home Run Derby
"The All Star festivities are underway!"
Just hours before tonight's all star game, major league baseball took a swing at making the big leagues a more tolerant place for openly gay ball players with Commissioner Bud Selig welcoming back one of the game's own former player, Billy Bean - to be the league's first-ever "Ambassador of Inclusion."
Selig: "We want the people who make a living in our game to be who they wish to be"
Right now, there are no openly gay, bisexual or transgender players in baseball. Bean went public about his sexuality only *after* his playing days ended in 1995.
In his new role, the former Journeyman outfielder hopes to provide guidance for other players who choose to remain silent - as he did.
Bean: "...Baseball is proving they will continue to lead instead of following on the sidelines."
The league has already banned discrimination based on sexual orientation but wanted to go a step further
"As the sport of Jackie Robinson, the principles of equality and inclusion are bedrocks of the game."
2014 has been a year of firsts for gays in sports.
In February, the Brooklyn Nets' Jason Collins became the first openly-gay active player in the NBA
And in May, the Saint Louis Rams drafted Michael Sam making him the first player in the NFL who is out of the closet.
Selig: "We can never do enough to ensure respect and inclusion for everyone."
And to that point, Bean is also expected to train players and the league's partners in combating several forms of discrimination.