Greater Cleveland Sports Commission

Diversity in Thought Leadership Series

The City Club of Cleveland KeyBank Diversity in Thought Leadership Series sponsored by KeyBank is excited to present Billy Bean, MLB Ambassador for Inclusion, on Friday October 11, 2019 for a special forum: Coming Out and Coming Back: Building Respect & Acceptance in the Workplace.

Please note: this has been rescheduled from it's original date in July.

As part of Velocity’s community programming, this annual speaker series will be held at the historic City Club of Cleveland, featuring pioneers in sports to discuss topics such as athlete activism, women in sports, LGBTQ+ and minorities in professional sports.

This year’s premier speaker, Billy Bean, is the only openly gay, current or former, Major League Baseball player. From 1987 to 1995, he played for the Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres.

As a closeted gay man in the anti-gay world of baseball, Bean faced a wrenching choice between his love of the game and the love of his life. Ultimately, unable to reconcile the two worlds he lived in, he walked away from pro baseball in the prime of his career.

When Bean came out in 1999, his story found nationwide media coverage, including on the Sunday cover of The New York Times and on CNN. On December 8, 1999, he was interviewed by Diane Sawyer on the nationally televised TV program 20/20. His memoir, Going the Other Way, originally published in 2003, became a national bestseller.

On July 15, 2014, Major League Baseball announced the appointment of Billy Bean as MLB’s first Ambassador for Inclusion, a role which puts him at the fore of the League’s efforts for a fair and equitable workplace throughout all of baseball.

Bean has become one of the leading role models for all athletes of diversity, and one of the most sought-after motivational speakers in the US.

Join us as we revisit MLB All-Star Week in Cleveland with a conversation on MLB's commitment to LGBTQ inclusion and fostering a culture of respect and acceptance in the workplace.

  • Individual tickets: $22/member; $37 non-member
  • Table of 10: $370/nonprofit; $470/corporate

Tickets Available



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