Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Josh Hader has apologized for a series of racist, sexist, and homophobic tweets he sent when he was 17
Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Josh Hader has apologized for a series of racist, sexist, and homophobic tweets he sent 7 years ago.
The 24-year-old made headlines on Tuesday when a series of his old, since-deleted messages surfaced as he played in the 2018 MLB All-Star Game.
Tweeted over an eight-month period back in 2011 and 2012, the messages were quickly shared again online — many calling out Hader for his bigoted views.
One of the now deleted and screengrabbed tweets shared on social media claimed that Hader was looking for “a bitch that can f—, cook, [and] clean right.” Another allegedly sent by Hader directly said “I hate gay people.” The N-word was used a few times, as was other hate speech — like the fist emoji with the phrase “white power” and “KKK,” the abbreviation for the hate group the Ku Klux Klan.
Responding to the controversy after the game, Hader told reporters that while he didn’t vividly remember sending any of these tweets, he takes responsibility for them.
“There’s no excuse for what was said. I’m deeply sorry for what I said and what’s been going on,” he said, according to video captured by MLB writer Ryan Fagan.
“You know, it was something that happened when I was 17 years old,” Hader continued. “As a child, I was immature, and I obviously said some things that were inexcusable. That doesn’t reflect on who I am as a person today and that’s just what it is… When you’re a kid you just tweet what’s on your mind, and that’s what was going on.”
He added: “I was young, immature, and stupid. There’s no excuses for what was said and what happened… As I said, it doesn’t affect any of my beliefs now. There’s nothing that hateful that I believe in… Being 17 years old, you make stupid decisions and mistakes. I just live up to what happened and move on from it.”
Hader, who explained that he didn’t know about the controversy until after the game, said he was ready face any consequences for his statements.
Those consequences came Wednesday from Major League Baseball. The organization announced that while he won’t be suspended, Hader will have to attend sensitivity training and join initiatives focused on diversity and inclusion.
“Mr. Hader took the necessary step of expressing remorse for this 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 statement read. “The Office of the Commissioner will require sensitivity training for Mr. Hader and participation in MLB’s diversity and inclusion initiatives.”
The Brewers also stood by Hader.
“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,” general manager David Stearns said in a statement. “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 believes. He has been a good teammate and contributor to the team in every way,” Stearns added. “We will continue to work through the issue with Josh as we prepare to resume games after the break.”
Similar statements of support came from fellow Brewers All-Star Lorenzo Cain, who addressed reporters after Tuesday’s game.
“We just talked a little bit. I was just trying to understand the situation,” Cain said. “He was young. We all say some crazy stuff when we’re young. That’s one reason why I don’t have social media — for things like this. You always in trouble for things you said when you’re younger. So we move on from it.”
“The situation is what it is,” Cain said. “I know Hader, I know he’s a great guy, he’s a great teammate. So I’m fine. Everybody will be okay. We’ll move on from it, for sure.”
Still, fans were left angry. “A lot of professional athletes have regrettable tweets they can pass off as immaturity,” wrote one user. “Josh Hader’s tweets are not that kind. He outright degraded women, black people, and the LGBTQ community. You don’t take that back.”