Former Major League Baseball player Billy Bean, who is openly gay, has been promoted in MLB’s head office as an adviser to Commissioner Rob Manfred.
Bean, formerly MLB's ambassador for inclusion, will now serve as vice president and special assistant to Commissioner Manfred. In this brand-new position, Bean, who publicly identified himself as gay in 1999, will advise Manfred and the league on human rights issues while shining a specific light on LGBT rights and anti-bullying efforts.
The former big league outfielder has previously spearheaded efforts of baseball's support of Spirit Day, a worldwide effort to combat bullying and, most recently, made more than 100 visits to all 30 Major League clubs as ambassador for inclusion. Bean will report directly to MLB chief communications officer Patrick Courtney.
Bean was hired as MLB’s Ambassador for Inclusion in 2014. His new role is a broadening of those efforts and his responsibilities. While there has still never been an out active Major League Baseball player, the league has made great strides in making the sport more welcoming and inclusive. This promotion shows that the league views what Bean does as important.