Mozeliak responds to Dunnington's comments

Former Minor Leaguer says he quit baseball due to homophobic talk in clubhouse

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak responded to comments by former Minor Leaguer Tyler Dunnington, who told Outsports.com that he quit baseball after the 2014 season due to homophobic conversations that made him uncomfortable in the clubhouse.

"This is very disappointing and our hope is that every player, staff member and employee feels they are treated equally and fairly," Mozeliak said in an e-mailed statement. "Given the nature of these allegations, I will certainly look into this further, as well as speak with Billy Bean of the Commissioner's Office for further assistance on this matter."

In July 2014, Bean was named Major League Baseball's first ambassador for inclusion. In his role, Bean, who hid his sexual orientation until after he had finished playing, provides guidance and training related to efforts to support those in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community within MLB.

"Tyler Dunnington's comments about his experience as a college baseball player, and as a Minor League baseball player in 2014, are an example of the importance of the work we are doing at MLB," said Bean, whose title is now vice president, social responsibility. "Every organization in Major League Baseball, including the St. Louis Cardinals, has supported our inclusion work, however, we all realize there is still much work to be done."

Though it is unclear in the article whether Dunnington is referencing conversations before or during his time with the Cards, Mozeliak said that the alleged conduct of members of the organization is being taken "very seriously." Dunnington alleges in the story that he heard a coach say, "We kill gay people in Wyoming," in reference to the brutal murder of Matthew Shepard, a gay student at the University of Wyoming, in 1998. Dunnington also heard teammates discuss ways to kill gay people.

"We care about all our guys," said Cardinals manager Mike Matheny. "And we will try to figure out ways so they can have an atmosphere where they can be as good as they can be."

Dunnington, who was drafted by the Cardinals in the 28th round of the 2014 Draft, said he did not come out as a gay athlete to his coaches or teammates during his time with the Cards. A right-handed pitcher out of Shelton, Wash., he appeared in 18 games with the Gulf Coast League club and one with Class A Short-Season State College. Dunnington posted a 3.09 ERA over 32 innings.

The 24-year-old also told Outsports.com that he hopes to get back into baseball as a front-office member. Dunnington recently attended the MLB Diversity Business Summit in Phoenix and said he regrets not using his platform as a gay athlete before he retired as a player.

"My passion still lies in baseball, and removing myself from the game didn't change that," Dunnington said. "Most of the greatest memories I have are with this sport. After gaining acceptance from my friends and family, I realized I didn't have to quit baseball to find happiness."

Added Bean: "Tyler's desire to return to baseball is the perfect example that our message of equality and acceptance is working."

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.