New Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter sparks controversy with comments to LA Times about gay athletes

(WXYZ) - Incoming Detroit Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter hasn't played a game for his new team yet and he's already making headlines about one thing he says can divide a clubhouse.

For an article about sports culture and gay athletes, Hunter told the LA Times  that an openly gay teammate could divide a team.

According to the LA Times  a number of athletes have come out after their careers were over. However, the paper says no active player in any of the four major sports has come out as gay during their playing days.

The LA Times says Hunter is "among baseball's most thoughtful and intelligent players. He was just one of the athletes who spoke with the LA Times for the article.

The paper him as saying: "For me, as a Christian … I will be uncomfortable because in all my teachings and all my learning, biblically, it's not right. It will be difficult and uncomfortable."

Hunter responded to the article by tweeting the following statement:

I'm very disappointed in Kevin Baxter's article in which my quotes and feelings have been misrepresented. He took two completely separate quotes and made them into one quote that does not express how I feel as a Christian or a human being . I have love and respect for all human beings regardless of race, color or sexual orientation. I am not perfect and try hard to live the best life I can and treat all people with respect. If you know me you know that I am not anti anything and to be portrayed as anti-gay in this article is hurtful and just not true. 

Among the other athletes the LA Times spoke to for the article was former Detroit Pistons Grant Hill, who said homosexuality is still "taboo in the locker room."

You can read the full article here:  http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-sports-homophobia-20121230,0,4284200,full.story

Earlier this year Hunter agreed to a two year contact with the Tigers.

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