WASHINGTON — Milwaukee Brewers reliever Josh Hader, who pitched in the All-Star Game on Tuesday, apologized later for racist and homophobic Twitter posts in 2011 that had surfaced during the game.
“I was 17 years old, and as a child I was immature, and obviously I said some things that were inexcusable,” Hader told reporters in the visitors’ clubhouse at Nationals Park here. “That doesn’t reflect on who I am as a person today.”
Hader, a 24-year-old left-hander, tweeted racist vulgarities several times in 2011. In his postgame apology, he made a vague reference to rap lyrics, but one four-word tweet he wrote that August was blunt: “I hate gay people.”
“I’m deeply sorry for what I’ve said,” Hader said Tuesday, adding later, “I’m ready for any consequences that happen for what happened seven years ago.”
Hader, who is averaging almost 17 strikeouts per nine innings this season, could face some kind of discipline from Major League Baseball. The league suspended the former Toronto infielder Yunel Escobar for three games in 2012 for wearing eye black with a homophobic slur written on it, and suspended the Toronto outfielder Kevin Pillar two games last season for directing a homophobic slur at a pitcher.
MLB employs Billy Bean, a former outfielder who is gay, as an ambassador for inclusion, and about 200 of its officials took part in the Pride March in New York last month.
Lorenzo Cain, the veteran Milwaukee outfielder, who is African-American, told reporters that he spoke briefly with Hader after the tweets surfaced and that he planned to again on the plane.
“I know Hader; he’s a great guy,” Cain said. “I know he’s a great teammate. I’m fine. Everybody will be OK. We’ll move on.”
Cain added: “We’ve all said crazy stuff growing up, even when we were 17, 18 years old. If we could follow each other around with a recorder every day, I’m sure we all said some dumb stuff. We’re going on move on from this.”