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For the second time in the last three summers, the Cubs had to vet a potential trade acquisition before pulling the trigger on a deal that provides a boost to a team in the middle of a pennant race.

That's not to say the situations with Aroldis Chapman and Daniel Murphy are even remotely similar. 

Chapman was investigated for domestic abuse and was suspended 30 games in 2016 as a result. Murphy came out with anti-gay comments back in 2015 but never received any sort of suspension, only a public backlash that has now carried over to the North Side of Chicago.

Back in March 2015, Murphy — then a member of the New York Mets — was asked about former MLB player Billy Bean, who is openly gay and serves as the Ambassador for Inclusion for the league. Murphy called being gay a "lifestyle" and said:

“I disagree with his lifestyle. I do disagree with the fact that Billy is a homosexual. That doesn’t mean I can’t still invest in him and get to know him. I don’t think the fact that someone is a homosexual should completely shut the door on investing in them in a relational aspect. Getting to know him. That, I would say, you can still accept them but I do disagree with the lifestyle, 100 percent.”

 

Murphy — a devout Christian — was not ready to walk back on those comments, even three years later as he sat in front of the Chicago media, just a couple blocks away from Boystown. 

When asked to clarify those controversial comments Thursday evening and if he has changed his stance, Murphy did not answer specifically, but did advocate for inclusion:

"What I would say to that is that I've been able to foster a really positive relationship with Billy Bean since that time," Murphy said. "I'm really excited to continue to cultivate that relationship that we've built. 

"Billy, his job I think is Ambassador for Inclusion with Major League Baseball is a vital role so that everyone feels included, not only in our industry in baseball, but in all aspects of life."

The Cubs thought about the potential impact of adding a controversial player via midseason trade and reached out to Bean for his input, according to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times

Bean supported the move and reportedly felt "really positive and thought the organization could really benefit from [Murphy's] presence."

Roughly a half hour after openly gay Cubs owner Laura Ricketts threw out the first pitch at Wrigley Field for Women's Empowerment Night, Murphy was greeted with a nice hand from the fans in attendance at the "Friendly Confines" for his first at-bat in the Cubs' 7-1 vcitory.

That's not to say some fans aren't conflicted with how to cheer for their favorite team.

When asked about a message to any of these fans, Murphy said:

"Oh dear. I would hope that you would root for the Cubs."

The Cubs had an official Pride Day back on June 10 and have another event this weekend. The 18th annual Out at Wrigley day is occurring Sunday afternoon.

"Again, I hope that anyone that comes to Wrigley Field feels welcome," Murphy said. "That's my hope. That's the hope of Major League Baseball. And speaking with Billy Bean — again, like I said, the relationship that we've been able to forge — that's what he's trying to do. 

"I think that's what we're trying to do as an industry. We want people to feel welcome, whatever walk of life that might be."