Michael Kopech is now the fourth baseball player to have to apologize for tweets he made as a teenager. The 22-year-old Chicago White Sox pitcher made a number of now-deleted racist and homophobic tweets when he was 17. Kopech was forthcoming about the tweets and said he’d matured.
In 2013, Michael Kopech made a number of offensive tweets, throwing around the words “fags” and other homophobic slurs, using the N-word and telling a friend to shave his moustache as it made him “look like a Mexican rapist version of Super Mario.” Charming.\
When the offensive tweets resurfaced, however, Kopech apologized and said he’d deleted them. He told the Chicago Sun-Times, “Obviously, I’m trying to be looked at as a role model, and the last thing I want to do is have some kid look at what I’m saying and take it the wrong way.”
He added, “It’s unfortunate that I was ever at that point mentally, but it’s not who I am now. Yeah, I cleaned some tweets up and tried to get rid of them. But, obviously, people saw them. It’s not who I am now, and it’s not who I want to be.”
The White Sox organization stands by Kopech. General manager Rick Hahn says, “He has taken responsibility and apologized for his offensive and inappropriate word choices at the time, but has stressed that those careless words do not reflect who he is today. It is certainly true they don’t reflect the young man we know as a maturing, growing and developing member of our organization.”
In the past two weeks, a number of baseball players have been criticized for past tweets. Josh Hader of the Minnesota Brewers was the first to apologize; when he was 17, he tweeted “I hate gay people.” Shortly after, Sean Newcomb of the Atlanta Braves and Trea Turner of the Washington Nationals also apologized for similar tweets from their pasts.
While, like Michael Kopech, Hader and Turner were obviously remorseful over their past statements, Newcomb was criticized for being vague, rather than owning what he said as a teenager.
A selection of Michael Kopech’s offensive tweets from 2013:
here's some of them pic.twitter.com/mhZNGwE6UK
— britney (@mylittlefaith) August 20, 2018