San Francisco’s Affeldt opens up about homophobia

Published On May 23, 2013 | By Francesca Pelletier

Relief pitcher Jeremy Affeldt is a new man since joining the San Francisco Giants organization. In his new book, “To Stir a Movement: Life, Justice, and Major League Baseball”, Affeldt admitted that he used to be a deeply homophobic man who stayed in his hotel room for days as a visiting player in San Francisco to avoid any contact with individuals whom he thought may be gay.

“I didn’t leave my hotel room when we came to play the Giants or A’s. I didn’t want to go out or see anyone,” Affeldt told The Huffington Post. “There was a profession of being wrong. I’ve come to that from a deep angle. I’ll probably get a lot of flak from the church for it, but I believe I am right.”

Five years ago, a gay Starbucks employee in Cincinnati befriended Affeldt’s son, and he made such an impression on Affeldt that the San Francisco reliever vowed to transform his negative tensions into positive feelings toward the gay population. As a teammate, husband, and father of three adolescent boys, Affeldt said he knows his opinion has changed for the better.

“I’m going to look at a group of people who maybe don’t share the same views as I do morally but the reality is there is no different, none,” he shared with The Huffington Post. “They’re human beings and I’m going to love on them just as God told me to love all human beings. It’s a matter of love your neighbor as yourself.”

Also in the novel, Affeldt touches on returning $500,000 to the Giants organization after he was given the money due to a typo in his contract.

“Integrity-wise, it wasn’t a hard decision for me,” Affeldt said.  The same integrity that gave the Giants their money back, is the same integrity that will keep Affeldt’s feelings positive on the gay community.

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