Torii Hunter was reintroduced to the Twin Cities media on Wednesday after signing a one-year, $10.5 million contract to re-join the Twins. Hunter has well-documented opinions opposing gay marriage, so things got a bit rocky during the Q&A portion as beat writer Mike Berardino of the Saint Paul Pioneer Press asked if Hunter would continue to be open about his opinions on homosexuality in the future. Hunter did not appreciate the question and proceeded to call Berardino a prick several times.
Afterwards, Berardino released a statement to Kare11.
The purpose of my final two questions posed to Twins outfielder Torii Hunter at today’s news conference was not to make him feel uncomfortable or to force him to expound on his previously stated views on gay marriage. Rather, having read the strong criticism directed toward him on social media and via Deadspin.com in light of his recent endorsement of Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, which included a comment related to gay marriage, I wanted to give Mr. Hunter an opportunity to respond to his critics. I also asked him if he thought the political backlash might have impacted his recent job search as he eventually settled for a one-year contract at a 19% decrease in his average annual salary. Finally, I asked Mr. Hunter if he intended to be as open with his political and religious views moving forward after having gone through this recent experience. I asked the same questions a few minutes later of Katrina Hunter, his wife, and she offered well-reasoned answers that did not include insults at my expense. I published her complete answers, as well as those of her husband, on my Twins Now blog at TwinCities.com. Regardless, I consider the unfortunate matter closed and I look forward to covering Mr. Hunter throughout the 2015 baseball season.
A fine start to Hunter’s second go-around in Minnesota, I’d say.