Milwaukee Brewers reliever Josh Hader (Old Mill), who pitched in his first All-Star Game on Tuesday in Washington, then was made to answer for a series of hateful tweets from high school after the game, will be required to go through sensitivity training and participation in diversity and inclusion initiatives, Major League Baseball announced Wednesday.
Hader, 24, came off the field at Nationals Park after allowing three runs (one earned) on four hits, including a three-run home run to Jean Segura, to find out that tweets using racist language and expressing sexist and homophobic views from 2011 and 2012 had resurfaced while he was in the game.
"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,” MLB said in a statement. “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."
Hader said Tuesday night that the tweets were "something that happened when I was 17 years old, and as a child, I was immature.
"I obviously said some things that were inexcusable," Hader said. "That doesn't reflect on who I am as a person today, and that's just what it is. ...
“There's no excuse for what was said. I'm deeply sorry for what I said, and what has been going on. Like I said, it doesn't reflect any of my beliefs going on now."
Brewers general manager David Stearns, who was an assistant general manager with the Houston Astros when the Orioles traded Hader to Houston in a deal that brought Bud Norris to Baltimore in 2013, and who acquired Hader again in Milwaukee, said in a statement that the left-hander 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," Stearns said. "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 to the team in every way. We will continue to work through this issue with Josh as we prepare to resume games after the break."
Several of Hader’s All-Star teammates spoke out in support of him after the game, including outfielder Lorenzo Cain, who is black.
“I was just trying to understand the situation,” Cain told reporters. “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 okay. We’ll move on from it.”
Another Brewers All-Star, first baseman Jesús Aguilar, tweeted in support of Hader on Wedneday.
This story was featured in The Sun's Alexa Flash Briefing on July 18, 2018.