David Denson makes history as first openly gay active player in baseball
David Denson, a first baseman for the Milwaukee Brewers’ rookie affiliate in Helena, Montana, made baseball history this weekend by revealing that he is gay.
Denson, 20, publicly disclosed the news in a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article after sharing it with his family and Helena Brewers teammates. The news makes Denson the first active player affiliated with a Major League organization to come out publicly.
“Talking with my teammates, they gave me the confidence I needed, coming out to them,” Denson said.
“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.'”
A handful of retired pro athletes have come out in recent years, including retired major leaguer Billy Bean. Since retiring from professional baseball in 1995, Bean has spoken frequently about the pressure gay athletes face to conceal their sexuality. As Major League Baseball’s first Ambassador for Inclusion, Bean counseled Denson on his decision to reveal he is gay.