History was made recently when David Denson, a minor leaguer in the Brewers system, revealed his orientation to teammates. Now, after relaying his story to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the first baseman is now the first active player in affiliated professional baseball to publicly reveal he is gay.
Denson had an impromptu coming out party just weeks after joining the Brewers’ rookie affiliate in Montana when a teammate jokingly referred to him using a derogatory term for a gay male. The teammate didn’t know that the 20-year-old was actually gay, but Denson decided right then to make his announcement, as Haudricourt writes. Soon, the crowd around Denson built to the point where he was addressing most of the clubhouse. By the end of his speech, his teammates offered their support.
“Talking with my teammates, they gave me the confidence I needed, coming out to them,” the California native recalled to Haudricourt. “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.’
Brewers president and GM Doug Melvin released the following statement earlier today regarding Denson, writing:
“David is a highly-respected member of the Milwaukee Brewers family, and he is a very courageous young man. Our goal for David is to help develop him into a Major League player, just as it is for any player in our system, and we will continue to support him in every way as he chases that dream.”
Denson, as detailed in Haudricourt’s article, went through bouts of depression before finally opening up to his teammates and members of the Brewers’ minor league affiliate. After coming out, Denson says that he is greatly relieved and hopes that his story will encourage others in a similar situation to take that same step.