Major League Baseball has promoted Billy Bean to vice-president, social responsibility and inclusion. It's a big jump for Bean, who just 18 months ago was hired as a part-time Ambassador For Inclusion, then quickly became full-time this year. The League explained Bean's new job in a statement earlier today:
In his elevated role, Bean will be responsible for many of the League's social responsibility initiatives, including oversight of MLB's Workplace Code of Conduct and anti-bullying programming, while continuing to facilitate inclusion strategies with a focus on the LGBT community.
It's no surprise that MLB would take this step with Bean, as he's done an incredible job in his prior role as Ambassador For Inclusion, elevating the efforts toward LGBT inclusion above what the other Big Five leagues are doing. His efforts made Bean Outsports' Hero of Year for 2015.
The League is replacing Bean with former outfielder Curtis Pride. While Bean will still be the go-to-guy on LGBT issues, Pride will turn his focus to other initiatives.
A large part of Pride's role will be to encourage continued outreach, participation and equal opportunity in support of MLB's Youth Programs, overseen by Senior Vice President Tony Reagins. Pride will also manage the development of an inclusive educational and training forum under Wendy Lewis, who is MLB's Senior Vice President of Diversity, Inclusion & Strategic Alliances, and will serve as a resource for individuals in the baseball family regarding issues related to disabilities.
Congratulations to both men, and to MLB for continuing to lead on issues of diversity and inclusion.