Minnesota Twins outfielder Torii Hunter is against gay marriage. This fall, he endorsed the winning gubernatorial candidate in Arkansas in part because that candidate, Asa Hutchinson, is against same-sex marriage. Hunter was signed by the Twins this week and was asked a legitimate question about whether he thinks his views affected his free agency. Hunter did not appreciate the question and went off on the reporter, Mike Berardino of the Saint Paul Pioneer-Press.
Berardino brought up that Hunter has been criticized for his views and referenced his endorsement. Hunter replied:
"You got some people who are just messy, you know? So, no. It is something I don't like to talk about, but Republican Party, Democratic Party, separated, divided we fall. Simple as that. We just go with the best person that's good for the situation. And I'm from Arkansas and I know what's that, that's all. This has nothing to do with being a Democrat or a Republican, just make sure you make the right decision. That's it."
The reporter followed up and Hunter said:
"No. I mean, nah. There's nothing to talk about. You already know, so why keep talking about it? I said it. It is what it is. No, I'm not going to talk about it if you bring it up. It's not even baseball related. We can do that later, when I retire. Then I'll tell you the truth -- everything."
Before the next question could be asked, Hunter said this unprompted:
"Hey, Mike is kind of a prick huh? No, seriously, you're a prick, man. I don't even know you. You're a prick. Seriously. Ain't nothing wrong with that man, that's your job. He's definitely a prick though."
If anyone is a prick in this exchange, it's Hunter. He was asked a fair question about his job search in free agency and whether it was linked to his gay marriage views, that are increasingly in the minority. And when you get in the political arena and cut an ad for a candidate, you are fair game for any questions about your political views. Hunter can't have it both ways.
In contrast, Hunter's wife, Katrina, answered the same questions from Berardino in a thoughtful way without resorting to insults. She said she did not think her husband's political views had any influence in free agency, and added about this who criticize those views: "Everybody's entitled to their opinion, even the people on Twitter and Instagram, whatever -- all those social medias. Everybody's entitled to their opinion. First Amendment right. Freedom of speech. You can't control what people say." On that, we agree.