Two more professional baseball players have been identified as sending anti-gay tweets in their younger days: Braves pitcher Sean Newcomb and Washington Nationals shortstop Trea Turner, both 25, came under fire Sunday, just days Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Josh Hader was ordered to attend sensitivity training for homophobic and racist tweets he posted in 2012.
Sean Newcomb’s tweets surfaced during yesterday’s game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. As an 18-year-old college freshman at the University of Hartford, he sent out tweets with the word “fag” or “faggot” at least a half-dozen time, as well as racist messages with the word “n*gga.”
According to MLB, Newcomb will meat with Billy Bean, the league’s ambassador of inclusion, as part of diversity training.
Some feel his apology was halfhearted at best.
“I felt that it would be good to address it right away and just let people know that I meant nothing by it,” Newcomb said. “I didn’t mean to offend anybody and I’ll make sure it doesn’t happen again. I’ll be smarter. I think that people who know me know that’s now the kind of person I am.”
Turner was also 18, and playing college baseball at North Carolina State, when he tweeted out a series of homophobic messages. In one, he suggests that a female cashier working a drive-thru asked “who the [faggot] in the back of a car was,” it would be Turner.
“There are no excuses for my insensitive and offensive language on Twitter,” Turner said in a statement released by the Nationals. “I am sincerely sorry for those tweets and apologize wholeheartedly. I believe people who know me understand those regrettable actions do not reflect my values or who I am. But I understand the hurtful nature of such language and am sorry to have brought any negative light to the Nationals organization, myself or the game I love.”
OutSports points out Turner is already part of MLB’s “Shred Hate” campaign, which combats bullying.
Nationals manager Mike Rizzo said he spoke with Turner after the tweets surfaced and said Turner “understands that his comments — regardless of when they were posted — are inexcusable and is taking full responsibility for his actions.” Rizzo added that the team does does not condone discrimination in any form, “and [Turner’s] comments do not in any way reflect the values of our club… He has apologized to me and to the organization for his comments.”
Management for the Braves likewise addressed Newcomb’s old messages, saying he “is incredibly remorseful.”
“Regardless of how long ago he posted them, he is aware of the insensitivity and is taking full responsibility,” they added. “We find the tweets hurtful and incredibly disappointing and even though he was 18 or 19 years old when posted, it doesn’t make them any less tolerable. We will work together with Sean towards mending the wounds created in our community.”
Like Hader, neither player will face suspension or fines since their tweets were before they began to play in the major leagues.
Do you think Sean Newcomb and Trea Turner are serious about their apologies?
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