Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Josh Hader is required to complete "sensitivity training" after old, racist, homophobic, and misogynistic tweets resurfaced.
During Tuesday's All-Star Game, YouTuber Kevin Jenkins (KJen) posted a Twitter thread with images of of tweets that Hader, now 24, posted in 2011 and 2012, when he was in his teens. He had tweeted "I hate gay people" and "Gay people freak me out, this dude comes in with pony shirts and a pony mal bag #thefuck". The tweets included numerous uses of the n word and references to "white power."
A spokesperson for Major League Baseball said the organization was made aware of Hader’s unsavory Twitter history and communicated with the Brewers about the subject.
"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 spokesperson said in a statement. "The Office of the Commissioner will require sensitivity training for Mr. Hader and participation in MLB’s diversity and inclusion initiatives."
Hader, who has since locked down his Twitter account, addressed reporters after the game with an apology for his old tweets, saying he was ready for "any consequences" for what he had tweeted:
"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," he said.
"Obviously, when you’re a kid, you just tweet what’s on your mind," he added.
"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 continued.
Brewers outfielder Lorenzo Cain, who is black, came to Hader’s defense when talking to reporters post-game.
"I was just trying to understand the situation," Cain said. "He’s young. We all say some crazy stuff when we’re young. That’s one reason why I don’t have social media, because things like this. You always get in trouble for things you said when you’re younger. We’ll move on it. The situation is what it is. I know Hader. He’s a great guy. I know he’s a great teammate. I’m fine. Everybody will be OK. We’ll move on from it."
In response to the news of Hader’s sensitivity training, Jenkins tweeted: "Regardless of what was said, I feel this was the right choice. I also feel like Hader needs to do something for those he’s offended. Maybe donate to one (or all) of their organizations? Prove he’s changed."