Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Josh Hader will be required to take sensitivity training and participate in the league’s diversity and inclusion initiatives after tweets from his past emerged during Tuesday’s All-Star Game.
After a bumpy outing in his first All-Star appearance, some racist and anti-gay tweets that Hader sent when he was a teenager surfaced. He apologized after 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,” the MLB said in a statement Wednesday. “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 Office of the Commissioner will require sensitivity training for Mr. Hader and participation in MLB’s diversity and inclusion initiatives.”
The Brewers also issued a statement Wednesday, admonishing the pitcher for the tweets, but adding that they don’t represent who Hader has become.
“His comments are inexcusable, and he is taking full responsibility for the consequences of his actions,” the statement said. “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.”
Hader said after the game that he was immature when he posted the tweets.
“You know, it was something that happened when I was 17 years old,” he said. “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.”
Hader, 24, said that his old messages do not reflect his current beliefs.
“Obviously, when you’re a kid, you just tweet what’s on your mind, and you know, that’s what’s on,” he said.
The reliever, who appeared in the eighth inning and gave up three runs and four hits, including a three-run homer to Mariners shortstop Jean Segura, said he wasn’t aware of the controversy until after the game.
“Just came in, and my phone was blowing up,” he said. “You can’t, there’s no excuse for what was said. I’m deeply sorry for what I’ve said and what’s been going on, and like I said, it doesn’t reflect any of my beliefs going on now.”
As Hader’s tweets were going viral, some of Hader’s friends and family in attendance were given generic gear while sitting in the stands. They were wearing generic National League gear outside the clubhouse toward the end of the game.
Fellow Brewers All-Star Lorenzo Cain addressed reporters postgame and revealed that, by that time, he had spoken with Hader.
“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. I know Hader, I know he’s a great guy, he’s a great teammate. So I’m fine. Everybody will be OK. We’ll move on from it, for sure.”
The Brewers entered the All-Star break with a record of 55-43 and are 2½ games behind the Chicago Cubs in the National League Central.
Buoyed by Hader’s standout relief pitching and the offseason signing of Cain and fellow free agent Christian Yelich, Milwaukee was in first place for much of the first half but lost its last six games heading into the All-Star break to fall behind Chicago.
A 19th-round pick of the Baltimore Orioles in 2012, the left-handed Hader was traded to the Houston Astros in July 2013. Two years later, he was dealt to the Brewers before the 2015 trade deadline. This season, in 31 games with Milwaukee, Hader is 2-0 with seven saves and a 1.50 ERA. In 48 innings, he has recorded 89 strikeouts, most among relievers.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.