The former second baseman grew up singing but knew he wanted to become a star baseball player. In 2002, his wish came true when he was drafted by the New York Mets for their minor league team. After playing professionally for five years, he decided to jump into a gospel career.
Dulaney, 32, said the two industries are much alike in terms of performance and media, but getting everyone else on board with his plans was difficult.
“The hard part was getting everybody to see and believe that leaving baseball was a good decision,” he said. “You know, in America, gospel music is like, ‘OK, you guys aren’t Beyoncé.’ So, convincing my family that singing what I love and doing what I love is more important than the money aspect of everything.”
He also spoke about what it’s like as a Christian in a locker room environment, which is often viewed as problematic, by highlighting the open-heartedness of Tebow.
“You can’t really separate your faith from who you are,” Dulaney said. “It’s not just something that Tim Tebow does. It’s not like he gets up on Sundays and now he’s a Christian. This is who he is at all times.
“We just have to learn how to co-exist and learn how to be able to walk amongst each other, even though we may not all believe the same things,” Dulaney said. “In a locker room, yeah, it can be difficult. It’s a lot going on in a locker room and a lot of people that believe a lot of things but it’s no different than any other job.”
According to the Grammy-nominated singer, the beauty of America is the access it gives to diverse groups of people, and you still have the ability to “demonstrate your belief by just walking it out.”
Watch the full clip above to hear what advice Dulaney has for spiritual cynics who are frustrated with today’s world. His latest album, To Africa With Love, is now available on all streaming platforms.
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Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.