WASHINGTON, D.C. – Apparently, Josh Hader is a hater.
If you think the Milwaukee Brewers reliever had a bad day at the office in the 89th annual All-Star Game on Tuesday night at Nationals Park – he gave up a three-run homer in National Leagues 8-6, extra-inning loss to American League – it only got worse after the game.
Thats when Hader was confronted by reporters with some racist – which included the N-word – and anti-gay tweets Hader sent when he was a teenager.
One said: I hate gay people. He used the N-word at least three times, once quoting a rap lyric, twice not. He used a fist emoji followed by white power lol and another time tweeted, simply, KKK.
To his credit, Hader, now 24, acknowledged that he sent the tweets and apologized for his actions.
Still, it shouldnt get him off the hook. The Brewers, at the least, or MLB, at the most, must take action – a suspension at the very least.
Its a bad look for a Major League player with a uniform that reads Milwaukee across the front to be linked to such reckless and mean language.
In the sport that integrated America with the addition of Jackie Robinson in 1947, this shouldnt be pooh-poohed.
Not all players Twitters are soiled, a place filled with hate for others.
And before the freedom of speech folks chime in, the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution only offers protection from the government coming to your crib and arresting you for protesting or speaking out against the government.
When you work for a company or organization, you represent them always – past or present.
If you dont represent them in a positive light, they have the right to take action, including firing a person.
No one thinks we need to go to that extreme.
But Hader – and others like him – have to know that such behavior and hate wont be tolerated by anyone wearing a Major League uniform.
You know, it was something that happened when I was 17 years old, Hader told the media. As a child, I was immature and obviously said some things that were inexcusable.
That doesnt reflect on who I am as a person today, and thats just what it is.
Hader, in his second MLB season, pitched in the eighth inning on Tuesday night. He gave up three runs and four hits, including a three-run homer to Mariners shortstop Jean Segura. At the time, it gave the AL a 5-2 lead.
But nobody wanted to talked baseball after the game. Hader knew a controversy was brewing when he got back into the clubhouse.
Just came in and my phone was blowing up, he said. You cant, theres no excuse for what I said. Im deeply sorry for what Ive said.
Sadly, this isnt new. A slew of players and high-profile people have been caught up posting mean and racist stuff on social media.
Wyoming QB Josh Allen dropped to No. 7 in draft after racially insensitive tweets surfaced from his past.
Mariners catcher Steve Clevenger was suspended the final two weeks of the season by the team for racially insensitive tweets about a Charlotte police shooting victim and the Black Lives Matter movement in 2016.
Knicks forward Amare Stoudemire was fined $50,00 for tweeting a gay slur in 2012.
And recently, Roseanne Barr lost her hit ABC-TV show over a racist tweet.
How do you face and work with your black and brown teammates when your Twitter is filled with the N-word? Hader said he will address his teammates.
Josh Hader, Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich react to Hader’s old offensive tweets surfacing | ESPN
Brewers pitcher Josh Hader says he was young and his tweets when he was 17 aren’t a reflection on him today. Lorenzo Cain also notes that Josh Hader was young and wants to talk with the reliever on Wednesday. Christian Yelich doesn’t know much about the situation but says Josh Hader has a “really kind heart.”
Yeah, for sure, Hader said. Its something they shouldnt be involved in.
Being 17 years old, you know, you make stupid decisions and mistakes.
Lorenzo Cain, another Brewers All-Star in DC, is a nice brother. He could have easily buried Hader. He didnt.
We just talked a little bit. I was trying to understand the situation, Cain said. He was young. We all say some crazy stuff when were young.
Thats one reason why I dont have social media – for things like this. You always in trouble for things you said when youre younger. So we move on from it. The situation is what it is.
Still, that doesnt mean MLB will follow Cains lead and go soft on Haders actions.
There are fans, sponsors and advertisers to answer to. They will want to find out about MLBs core values.
And the age excuse isnt good enough. There are plenty of 17 year olds who would never use that language and be openly racists.
Its not just because they are more mature than Hader. Its because they dont have those thoughts in their hearts. They know right from wrong. This is wrong.
This season in 31 appearances, Hader is 2-0 with seven saves and a 1.50 ERA. In 48 innings, he has recorded 89 strikeouts, the most among relievers.
Josh Hader is named the National League Reliever of the Month for April About Major League Baseball: Major League Baseball (MLB) is the most historic professional sports league in the United States and consists of 30 member clubs in the U.S. and Canada, representing the highest level of professional baseball.
Hader knows a punishment is coming and is prepared for any discipline.
Im ready for the consequences that happen for what happened seven years ago, he said.
MLB must act swiftly.