Two more Major League Baseball players have apologized for homophobic and racist tweets, Atlanta Braves pitcher Sean Newcomb and Washington Nationals shortstop Trea Turner.
On Sunday, while throwing just one short of a no-hitter, a series of offensive tweets resurfaced that Newcomb sent out in 2011 and 2012, when he was in high school.
“I just wanted to apologize for any insensitive material,” Newcomb said after the game, the Associated Press reports. “It was a long time ago, six or seven years ago, saying some stupid stuff with friends.”
“I know I’ve grown a lot since then. I didn’t mean anything by it. It was just something stupid I did a long time ago and I didn’t mean anything by it, for sure.”
“Such inappropriate comments have no place in our game. We are aware of this serious issue, Billy Bean will meet with Mr. Newcomb this week, and we will identify an appropriate course of diversity training for him in the Atlanta community,” MLB said in a statement.
Nationals shortstop Trea Turner was also forced to apologize for unearthed tweets from 2011 and 2012, while he was at North Carolina State, which also contain anti-gay and racist comments.
“There are no excuses for my insensitive and offensive language on Twitter,” he said in a statement. “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.”
“I have spoken with Trea regarding the tweets that surfaced earlier tonight. He understands that his comments—regardless of when they were posted — are inexcusable and is taking full responsibility for his actions,” said Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo in a statement of his own.
“The Nationals organization does not condone discrimination in any form, and his comments do not in any way reflect the values of our club. Trea has been a good teammate and model citizen in our clubhouse, and these comments are not indicative of how he has conducted himself while part of our team. He has apologized to me and to the organization for his comments.”
The Washington Post reports a Nationals fan account uncovered Newcomb’s tweets, and a Braves fan account retaliated by digging up Turner’s tweets.
The latest scandal comes on the heels of Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Josh Hader apologizing for similarly homophobic and racist tweets he sent out while in high school, which were dug up during the MLB All-Star Game earlier this month.
Hader received a standing ovation from the home crowd at Miller Park, which many have contrasted with the response to NFL players kneeling during the national anthem.
“Toxic masculinity, racism and homophobia have deep, lasting impact—and recognizing that impact presents an opportunity to be better,” said Hudson Taylor, executive director of Athlete Ally, in a statement.
“The fact that these players have swiftly apologized is a sign of progress, and underscores just how vital it is that we continue to dismantle racism, homophobia and transphobia in and through sport. Through increased awareness, education and advocacy, we’re working with athletes to identify where misconceptions are rooted, how damaging they can be, and the power of not just owning up to mistakes, but actively working to model compassion and inclusiveness moving forward.”