A Conversation about Inclusion and Acceptance with Former Major League Baseball Player Billy Bean


Day Two: June 12, 2018

8:10 – 9:10 AM


Keynote Speaker:

Billy Bean


Vice President & Special Assistant to the Commissioner For Major League Baseball

Session Description:

Billy Bean is the only living, former Major League Baseball player who has publicly disclosed that he is gay.  Just as his career began to take off, the demands of living a secret life, and then the sudden death of his partner proved too much, and Billy walked away from baseball.  Billy shares his long, difficult journey and how his experience away from baseball helped him return to MLB and become one of its most influential executives.


By the end of the presentation, attendees will be able to:

  • Summarize the current Diversity and Inclusion efforts of the Major League Baseball organization.
  • Participate in a conversation about inherent discrimination and bias in all of us.
  • Discuss why we are not seeing professional athletes making the decision to come out while active players.


Speaker Bio:

Billy Bean serves at MLB as Vice-President & Special Assistant to the Commissioner. As a senior advisor to Commissioner Manfred, his role focuses on baseball’s social responsibility initiatives and LGBT inclusion.   Among his responsibilities, Bean works with MLB’s 30 clubs to bring awareness to all players, coaches, managers, umpires, employees, and stakeholders throughout baseball to ensure an equitable, inclusive, and supportive workplace for everyone.

On July 14, 2014, Bean was announced as Major League Baseball’s first-ever Ambassador for Inclusion.  He played in the Major Leagues from 1987-1995.  Bean broke into the big leagues with the Detroit Tigers, and tied a major-league record with four hits in his first game.  He went on to play for the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres.  Bean was a two-time “All-America” outfielder at Loyola Marymount University before graduating with a degree in Business Administration.  During the 1986 season Bean led the Lions to a midseason #1 national ranking and a berth into the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska.

Billy is a member of MLB’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and was instrumental in the development of MLB’s “Shred Hate” anti-bullying initiative, a ground breaking educational youth campaign and partnership with ESPN.  He is also the author of the book, “Going the Other Way.”