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Baseball star apologizes for homophobic and racist tweets

Written by gaytourism

Sean Newcomb (Photo: MLB | YouTube)

A Major League Baseball (MLB) player in the US apologized yesterday for homophobic, racist and sexist tweets he posted as a teenager. Sean Newcomb, 25, plays for the Atlanta Braves.

The pitcher addressed the controversy during a press conference following his team’s triumph against Los Angeles Dodgers. Atlanta Braves won 4-1, with Newcomb’s performance earning him particular praise.

However, it was his social media use that was more in the spotlight post-game.

The tweets in question date back to 2011-12.

Tweets that have now come to light include those that say: ‘This gay black kid won’t stop presenting about black hair… #iwanttoleave.’

‘Skinny n***a, big balls’

‘I’m not lazy. #fag.’

‘I just wanted to apologize’

‘I definitely regret it, for sure. I just wanted to apologize for any insensitive material,’ he said when asked about the postings after the game. ‘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.’

Asked if he thought the tweets would impact on his relationship with teammates, Newcomb said: ‘I think the people that know me know that isn’t the type of person I am.’

His club, Atlanta Braves, issued the following statement.

‘We are aware of the tweets that surfaced after today’s game and have spoken to Sean who is incredibly remorseful. Regardless of how long ago he posted them, he is aware of the insensitivity and is taking full responsibility.

‘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.’

One of the most high-profile gay men in baseball is Billy Bean. He played in the MLB from 1987-1995 and came out in 1999. Since 2014 he has been the MLB’s first Ambassador for Inclusion.

MLB issued a statement saying Newcomb will be meeting with Bean.

‘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.’

Josh Hader

Newcomb is not the only baseball star to be criticized in recent weeks for homophobic tweets posted when younger.

Josh Hader, pitcher with the Milwaukee Brewers, found himself in similar trouble last week when some of his old tweets resurfaced. In a tweet from 23 August 2011, he stated, ‘I hate gay people’.

‘I was just 17 years old. I was a child. I was immature and I said some things that were inexcusable. It does not reflect on the person I am today … I’m deeply sorry for what was said,’ he said in his defense.

However, that excuse didn’t appear to go down too well with baseball fans. At his first appearance post the controversy last Thursday, playing against the Giants in San Francisco, he was booed by many in the crowd.

See also

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WATCH: Gay couple gets engaged at baseball game and everyone cheers

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