It was a rough night for Brewers star Josh Hader on and off of the field. On a night to shine in front of a global audience participating in his first MLB All-Star game, Hader coughed up a three-run homer. For most players, that would have been enough to sour the evening for a while, but for Josh Hader fielding questions about what happened on the mound was a whole lot easier than addressing questions regarding the racist, homophobic tweets he sent out years earlier that surfaced during the game.
Over a period of months spanning 2011 through 2012, when Hader was still in high school and had not yet been drafted by the Baltimore Orioles, he dashed off some tweets that displayed racist language, including dropping the N-bomb, and homophobic tweets such as “I hate gay people.” Some were threats of violence. The tweets are gone now, aside from screencaps of them that are surfacing here and there on the web. Hader deleted the originals, and then locked his account down and set it to private, according to a report at Fox News.
Hader stated during a post-game interview that he had no knowledge of the tweets having surfaced until he reached the clubhouse after his eighth-inning appearance when an N.L. official summoned him from the dugout to alert him to the situation. As news of the tweets made their way around the stadium, players could be seen in the dugouts reading them on their smartphones. In the bleachers, some members of Hader’s family that were in attendance removed their All-Star Game replica jerseys bearing his name and replaced them with generic models.
When the clubhouse opened to the press, Hader faced the media and answered their questions concerning the tweets as can be seen in part on MLB.com.
“I was young, immature and stupid. There’s no excuses for what was said. It was something that happened when I was 17 years old, and as a child, I was immature and obviously I did some things that were inexcusable. That doesn’t reflect on who I am as a person today. I was in high school. We’re still learning who we are in high school. You live and you learn. This mistake won’t happen again.There’s no excuse for what was said, and I’m deeply sorry for what I said and what’s going on. Like I said, that doesn’t reflect on my beliefs going on now.”
Although some members of the press attempted to reach out to Hader’s family for comment, they did not respond. Neither the Brewers nor the Commissioner’s Office has commented on what, if any, potential disciplinary actions may take place over Hader’s comments. The reaction to the remarks from his teammates has mostly been muted to this point. MLB.com had comments from Lorenzo Cain, who is African-American, and stated that people say all kinds of crazy things when they’re kids growing up and that the situation “is what it is” and Hader is a great guy and teammate and they will move on from it.