Josh Hader, the All-Star pitcher whose racist and homophobic tweets generated a firestorm this week, had a Friday filled with education and remorse.
Earlier today he stood in front of his Milwaukee Brewers teammates, just back from the All-Star break, and apologized in no uncertain terms. Reports say he was both tearful and remorseful in his apology.
In addition to the tough talk with his team, Hader sat down with MLB’s diversity and inclusion officer Billy Bean, who came out publicly as gay shortly after his own baseball-playing days were over. Bean had told USA Today earlier this week that Hader’s tweets were “a disappointing moment for baseball. This thing blindsided everybody.”
“I was really convinced after a couple hours together today — much longer than we expected — that his experience as an athlete and a professional in an integrated, diverse environment has created the person that he is today,” Bean told the Associated Press after he met with Hader.
“I believe that, much like many of our millennial youth, he just probably forgot about whatever that moment was in his adolescence,” Bean added.
We have no doubt that Hader has learned a lesson: Don’t Tweet stupid shit. And after the last 72 hours, having to explain himself to his teammates and talking with Bean, we’re pretty confident his mind probably opened a bunch too. Hopefully Hader will, in the offseason, put his time and efforts where his tweets are and volunteer at a local LGBTQ center.
The Brewers play host to the Los Angeles Dodgers this weekend. The Dodgers have been one of the most pro-LGBTQ franchises in all of professional sports for the last few years. It was with the Dodgers decades ago that Jackie Robinson broke MLB’s color barrier.