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The rise of offensive tweets in Major League Baseball

Offensive Tweets

Milwaukee Brewers’ relief pitcher Josh Hader was walking off the mound in the MLB All-Star Game when someone discovered and released some of his past tweets. On July 29, Atlanta Braves pitcher Sean Newcomb had a no-hitter spoiled with two outs in the ninth. Shortly after the game, another person uncovered some of his past tweets that were racially insensitive and homophobic. That same night Washington Nationals shortstop Trea Turner had tweets when he was 18 discovered that were similar in theme to those of Newcomb. Talented players are at a risk of losing everything due to past offensive tweets from their youth.

The Issue

Random people are scrolling social media for any evidence of missteps by current athletes. A major problem is the rise of offensive tweets. Recently, homophobic and racist tweets have emerged from three rising stars. Hader, Turner and Newcomb were all in their teens when the initial tweets were posted.  All three players gave apologies to the public and their respective teams. There are two issues with the current situation. The first issue is the fact that this players-to-be were tweeting these statements. While they were all only in high school when this originally occurred, this is no excuse. All three should have realized that social media is permanent but instead they did not heed the warnings taught in school. The second issue is that anonymous people are looking for any way to publicly humiliate professional athletes.

Solution to the Issue

According to ESPN, Sean Newcomb explained that “he had forgotten about the tweets until he picked up his phone after the game and saw mentions of the posts.” This is becoming a problem in today’s society. Social media is coming back to haunt players for the mistakes they made as juveniles. Sports teams should meet with their young players and explain the dangers of social media and have them thoroughly explore their past posts.

Youthful negligence is becoming a growing problem in sports. Despite being told over and over in school to be careful about what is posted on social media, not everyone listens. There is no excuse for tweeting and posting homophobic and racial insensitive messages. Players simply deleting their social media should not be the answer to offensive tweets. Instead, the league has to be able to find a fair punishment. Players need to understand the errors in their actions and how hurtful it can be. A possible solution should be having players assigned social media gurus. These advisors can help review things said in the past and delete anything considered offensive.

The Public’s Response

Offensive Tweets
Image Courtesy of NBC Sports

The Milwaukee Brewers responded to Hader’s past posts by sending him to sensitivity training. His first relief appearance since the tweets surfaced was at Miller Park. Hader walked to the mound and was given a standing ovation by the fans.  Brewer fans were showing their stud reliever that they still supported him despite his bad judgement. San Fransisco Giant fans, however, did not feel the same way. They loudly booed him as he made his first road appearance since the incident.

Sean Newcomb and Trea Turner will have to overcome this setback. Turner’s next game is July 31 at home against the Mets, while Newcomb’s next start is away on August 4  against the Mets. With the rise in offensive tweets, it will be interesting to see if opposing fans boo these two or just Hader.

 

Feature Image from Twitter

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