Baseball star Josh Hader to be sent for ‘sensitivity training’ after ‘I hate gay people’ tweet row
A major league baseball player will be sent for “sensitivity training” after it emerged he sent a slew of homophobic and racist tweets as a teenager.
Josh Hader, the 24-year-old pitcher for the Milwaukee Brewers, faced a storm when his Twitter history emerged – while he was busy playing in Tuesday’s 2018 Major League Baseball All-Star Game.
In messages dating from 2011 to 2012, he wrote “I hate gay people” and “Gay people freak me out, this dude comes in with pony shirts and a pony mal bag #thefuck”.
Hader also repeatedly tweeted the N-word in racist messages and made allusions to the KKK. The messages were sent when he was 17 and 18.
The messages surfaced online partway through the July 17 All-Star Game, and the player attempted to apologise in a subsequent press conference.
Major League Baseball has since released a statement revealing that Hader will be required to undergo “sensitivity training”.
A MLB spokesperson said: “During last night’s game we became aware of Mr. Hader’s unacceptable social media comments in years past and have since been in communication with the Brewers regarding our shared concerns.
“After the game, Mr. Hader took the necessary step of expressing remorse for his highly offensive and hurtful language, which fails to represent the values of our game and our expectations for all those who are a part of it.
“The Office of the Commissioner will require sensitivity training for Mr. Hader and participation in MLB’s diversity and inclusion initiatives.”
The Milwaukee Brewers said: “We have been in contact with Josh and he is fully aware of the severity of the situation related to his social media comments, regardless of the timeline of his posts.
“His comments are inexcusable, and he is taking full responsibility for the consequences of his actions. In no way do these sentiments reflect the views of the Brewers organization or our community.
“Those of us that have come to know Josh do not believe that these posts are representative of his beliefs. He has been a good teammate and contributor of the team in every way.
“We will continue to work through the issue with Josh as we prepare to resume games after the break.”
Speaking on Tuesday, Hader had said: “He added: “I was 17 years old, and as a child I was immature, and obviously I said some things that were inexcusable. That doesn’t reflect on who I am as a person today. That’s just what it is.
“Obviously, when you’re a kid, you just tweet what’s on your mind.
“There’s no excuse for what was said… I’m deeply sorry for what I’ve said and what’s been going on. That doesn’t reflect any of my beliefs.”
He added: “Being 17 years old you make stupid decisions and mistakes.
“I’m ready for any consequences that happen for what happened seven years ago.
“Like I said before, I was young, immature and stupid, and there’s no excuses for what was said and what happened.”
Teammate Lorenzo Cain added: “We all say crazy stuff when we’re young, that’s one reason why I don’t have social media, because you always get in trouble for it.
“But we’ll move on from it – he’s a great guy and a great teammate.”
Cain said that everyone should attempt to “move on” and “focus on playing baseball”.
Hader has now locked down his Twitter account entirely.
It is unclear if the player will face action from Major League Baseball or from the Milwaukee Brewers.
A baseball player apologised last year after using a homophobic slur live on TV.
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Toronto Blue Jays’tke Kevin Pillar appeared to shout “you faggot” at Atlanta Braves pitcher Jason Motte after he was struck out.
The player was handed a two-match suspension.
Pillar later said: “I used inappropriate language towards Braves pitcher Jason Motte. By doing so I had just helped extend the use of a word that has no place in baseball, in sports or anywhere in society today.
“I’m completely and utterly embarrassed and feel horrible to have put the fans, my teammates and the Blue Jays organizion in this position. I have apologiszed personally to Jason Motte, but also need to apologize to the Braves organization and their fans, and most importantly, to the LGBTQ community for the lack of respect I displayed last night.
“This is not who I am and will use this as an opportunity to better myself.”