The New York Yankees Sonny Gray had a tough day in multiple ways. The bad day began when he was booed off the mound after surrendering seven earned runs on eight hits over 2 2/3 innings in the Yankees 7-5 loss to the Orioles who are 42 games out of first place. To compound the problem, as Gray was being booed off the field, he began to smile, and then laugh, enraging fans who began booing him even louder. Gray was already on thin ice with many Yankee fans as he has struggled the entire season, and it was thought if the Yankees could find a team to accept his full salary, he would have been gone at the trading deadline. The loss and the Bronx cheer were just the beginning of his problems.
While the game was still in progress, a racist tweet Gray had dispatched in his younger days surfaced. According to USA Today, someone must have informed him of the old tweet being unearthed, because before the game was over, his Twitter account had been wiped clean. USA Today did get a copy of the tweet, and have posted it. The tweet dates back to when Gray was in the Oakland A’s minor league system, and although he claims that it was just an inside joke directed at a close friend, not everyone is happy that he made excuses for it rather than just immediately saying it was wrong and he was sorry.
The tweet in question read, “@Sir_Peanut 1. You didn’t go to college. 2. You are black. #followdaleaderleaderleader clap clap clap.” The close friend he was referring to is Rashun Dixon, a former Oakland Athletics farmhand Gray spent some of his times in the minors with. The second tweet made reference to Pedro Martinez being lifted from a game, and smiling as he walked off the mound while being booed by Yankees fans, as Gray did tonight. Gray defended himself against any references that he was racist by continually repeating he is a good person, as cited by Devdiscourse.
“I’m comfortable with who I am. You can ask anyone in this clubhouse who I am and what I’m about…. If people are trying to dig stuff up, then ask (Dixon). If people are gonna try to question my integrity and question who I am, then so be it, because I know who I am and if you know me, you know who I am. My past has helped shape who I am today. If people want to question who I am like I said, I’ll face that head on because I’m not scared of my past. Everything that’s happened in my past has done nothing but made me a better man.”
Gray is the fourth major leaguer to have been caught off-guard by old tweets that conveyed content that was racist, homophobic, or deemed inappropriate by the Office of the Commissioner. According to NJ.com, Yankee skipper Aaron Boone has not provided any information regarding how the team is going to deal with Gray, both for his poor performance and his tweets. For Gray, there is some speculation this was the end of the line for him in pinstripes, and the Yankees will find a trade partner for him as soon as possible and move the newly acquired Lance Lynn into his rotation slot.