Major League Baseball will require Milwaukee Brewers reliever Josh Hader to complete sensitivity training and participate in the league’s diversity and inclusion initiatives after offensive tweets he sent in 2011 and 2012 surfaced Tuesday night as he pitched in the All-Star Game at Nationals Park.
In a news release, MLB called Hader’s past tweets “unacceptable” and said it had contacted the Brewers to express its concerns. Brewers general manager David Stearns called Hader’s tweets “inexcusable” in a statement and said the Brewers “do not believe that these posts are representative of his beliefs.” Neither the league nor the Brewers indicated Hader would face punishment.
In the messages, which Hader posted when he was 17 years old and a high school student in Maryland, Hader made liberal use of the n-word, made derogatory references to women and expressed hatred toward gay people. Twitter users found and widely shared Hader’s tweets after he surrendered a three-run homer in the eighth inning of the All-Star Game.
Late Tuesday night, Hader faced a scrum of reporters. He apologized for the tweets, said they did not reflect his beliefs and repeatedly stated they had been sent when he was 17 years old, even calling himself “a child” at one point.
“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 league’s statement read.
Brewers All-Star first baseman Jesus Aguilar offered support for Hader on Twitter, writing Wednesday that the reliever “made a mistake 7 years ago” but that “he admitted, he apologized and most important: He learned from it.”
In his statement, Stearns, the Brewers GM, said Hader “is taking full responsibility for the consequences of his actions” and that the sentiments did not reflects the views of the Brewers organization.
“Those of us that have come to know Josh do not believe that these posts are representative of his beliefs,” Stearns said. “He has been a good teammate and contributor to the team in every way.”
Late Tuesday night Hader said: “It’s just something that happened. I was 17 years old. As a child, I was immature. I obviously said some things that were inexcusable. That doesn’t reflect on who I am as a person today. That’s just what it is.”
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