First openly gay player on MLB-affiliated team comes out

First openly gay player on MLB-affiliated team comes out

Brewers minor leaguer reveals he is gay in newspaper account.

David Denson, an infielder for the Helena Brewers of the Pioneer League, became the first openly gay player on a MLB-affiliated team when he went public with his story in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Saturday.

When the news broke, Denson was playing a doubleheader against Idaho Falls, and said he did not want to do any interviews for the next few days.  Denson said it was a lot to take in and that he wanted to focus on being a ballplayer at this time.

Brewers manager Craig Counsell said he told his team about Denson after their game against Philadelphia Saturday night.  Star outfielder Ryan Braun commended Denson as being courageous and added that he hoped everyone can be supportive and accepting of him.  Counsell added he wished Denson the best of luck in trying to become a major league player.

Sean Conroy, a pitcher for the Sonoma Stompers of the Pacific Association, revealed in June that he was gay, but the Pacific Association is not affiliated with MLB.  Recently, other gay athletes have been in the news, such as Michael Sam, Jayson Collins, and MLB umpire Dale Scott.

Denson was selected by Milwaukee in round 15 back in 2013, and worked his way up to Class A Wisconsin of the Midwest League. He struggled at that level and was sent back to Helena, a rookie level team.

He has hit five homers and has 26 RBI’s this year, batting .227, but hit a home run in the Northwest/Pioneer League All-Star game.

MLB said Sunday that they support Denson and wish him continued success.  The league also said the league was proud of the Brewers organization, and said the disclosure was an example of baseball’s desire to give every player the opportunity to play.

Denson told the Journal Sentinel his teammates said they saw him as a ballplayer and they wouldn’t treat him any differently, and that was a giant relief for him.


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