Last night may have been the most difficult night of Josh Hader’s professional baseball career. The left-handed reliever, making his first career appearance in the MLB All-Star Game, allowed four hits - including a three-run homer to Jean Segura - while retiring only batter after entering the game in the eighth inning. The National League wound up losing the contest, 8-6, in ten innings.
The bigger story than Hader’s struggles during the game, however, was the surfacing of a laundry list of offensive tweets that he made as a teenager. Several of the tweets can be attributed to song/rap lyrics, but there were many others that can be described as racist, transphobic, and offensive to women.
Hader was given the option of not addressing the media after the game, but instead chose to answer questions about the issue. While he did say that he was young and immature at the time he wrote the tweets, he offered that his language was “inexcusable” and said that the tweets do not reflect his current beliefs. Here is the full video from his presser:
Josh Hader addresses the tweets that surfaced during the game pic.twitter.com/Zzh6uS2frH— Ryan Fagan (@ryanfagan) July 18, 2018
Hader said he is ready to accept any consequences that may come from his prior words and actions, and other players have been previously suspended for making similarly offensive posts under MLB’s social media policy. But because the tweets were made before Hader was even a professional, it is unclear at this time if he will face any disciplinary action. Hader initially changed his Twitter profile to ‘private’ in the immediate aftermath, but has since deleted his account altogether.
The media asked Lorenzo Cain about his thoughts on the night’s events after the game, and he expressed support for his teammate. “The situation is what it is. I know Hader. He’s a great guy. I know he’s a great teammate. I’m fine. Everybody will be OK. We’ll move on from it.” Here is the full video of Cain’s interview:
Lorenzo Cain, who said he spoke briefly to Josh Hader before talking with the media. pic.twitter.com/UJKi1QBII7— Ryan Fagan (@ryanfagan) July 18, 2018
The Brewers have yet to release an official statement on the matter, but it seems likely that one will be coming within the next couple of days, if not sooner. Regardless, there is little doubt that Josh Hader’s public perception and his relationship with his teammates has shifted significantly in the last 24 hours.