Josh Hader, Milwaukee Brewers pitcher and Old Mill alumnus, addresses tweets from high school that surfaced during All-Star Game tonight. (Eduardo A. Encina, Baltimore Sun video)
Milwaukee Brewers left-hander Josh Hader entered Tuesday night’s All-Star Game as one of baseball’s top relievers. The Old Mill graduate left it as something of a pariah.
After Hader gave up a tie-breaking three-run home run in the eighth inning at Nationals Park in Washington, several of the homophobic, racist and sexist messages posted from his Twitter account when he was 17 resurfaced and were spread far and wide.
Now he faces possible disciplinary action from Major League Baseball and the difficult question of how he, the Brewers and their fans can move on from such a sordid past.
Here’s what those in baseball, from reporters to players, and others are saying about Hader’s very bad night.
FanGraphs and ESPN's Dan Szymborski:
At some point, Hader's agent should've said "Hey, you should probably delete all that crap you tweeted from when you were 17."
A lot of professional athletes have regrettable tweets they can pass off as immaturity. Josh Hader’s tweets are not that kind. He outright degraded women, black people, and the LGBTQ community. You don’t take that back.
Lorenzo Cain on Josh Hader: "I was surprised. Whenever somebody does something like that, you're always surprised. At the end of the day you have to give people a second chance. You have to forgive people and move on from it. For me it's over and done with."
People yelling at me about Hader on the text line continue to prove what I like to call the Luke Heimlich Theory of Sports, which posits that there is nothing an athlete can do that people won't excuse if they are good enough.
I will gladly cut Hader more slack for 6-7-year-old tweets made as 17 year-old that he apologizes for genuinely than I would if he did them yesterday, but let's not "aww, he was just a kid" this like we would him breaking out a neighbor's window.
This was not someone saying "that's gay" instead of "that's dumb" or saying something ~racially insensitive~. It's some seriously ugly language, used consistently, repeatedly and confidently. It's a window into a really gross and disturbed person's mind at that time.
What does it look like in the immediate aftermath of vile old tweets surfacing? My dispatch from the All-Star Game, where Josh Hader entered the game a strikeout-happy reliever and left a pariah with a racist, sexist, bigoted and homophobic past. Story: https://t.co/52GP98kuoDpic.twitter.com/ulRtcDNUZc