We all say and do dumb things as kids, and our interests and beliefs change drastically from the time we’re a teenager — even a teenager about to enter college — to our mid-to-late 20’s. But Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Josh Hader is being punished now for things he tweeted as a teenager seven years ago.
Hader, now 24, was pitching in the All-Star Game Tuesday night when tweets he sent as a 17-year-old resurfaced and flooded the internet. His tweets contained homophobic and racist comments. The Daily Wire previously reported one message said “I hate gay people” and at least one other contained the N-word. When Hader left the game, he was told the old tweets had been found and he quickly deleted them and locked his Twitter account. He then apologized.
"It's something that happened when I was 17-years-old," he said, "I was immature and obviously said some things that were inexcusable. That doesn't reflect on who I am as a person today."
On Wednesday morning, Major League Baseball released a statement condemning the tweets and issuing punishment for Hader, who hadn’t done anything wrong as a player.
"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. "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."
Hader’s team, the Brewers, also issued a statement on Wednesday.
"His comments are inexcusable, and he is taking full responsibility for the consequences of his actions," the Brewers 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."
The MLB’s reaction is clearly just to provide cover for itself, but punishing someone for what they wrote as a teenager – no matter how vulgar – when they appear to have grown, is just silly.