“The sins of the fathers shall be visited upon the sons” — and sometimes vice versa evidently. According to ESPN, Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Josh Hader, who appeared in his first All-Star game Tuesday will be required to undergo sensitivity training and take part in the league’s diversity and inclusion initiatives.
Hader’s (Hater’s?) crime was posting racially insensitive and anti-gay comments on Twitter. The only problem is Hader, who is now 24, posted the comments when he was a teenager. Apparently, there is no statute of limitations on commissions of social injustices.
On Wednesday, Major League Baseball issued a statement that read in part:
During last night’s game we became aware of Mr. Hader’s unacceptable social media comments in years past and have since been in communication with the Brewers regarding our shared concerns. After the game, Mr. Hader took the necessary step of expressing remorse for his highly offensive and hurtful language, which fails to represent the values of our game and our expectations for all those who are a part of it. …
The Brewers also came down hard on Hader, writing:
His comments are inexcusable, and he is taking full responsibility for the consequences of his actions. Those of us that have come to know Josh do not believe that these posts are representative of his beliefs. He has been a good teammate and contributor to the team in every way. We will continue to work through this issue with Josh as we prepare to resume games after the break.
Hader released his own mea culpa, telling reporters:
You know, it was something that happened when I was 17 years old. As a child, I was immature, and I obviously said some things that were inexcusable. … I’m deeply sorry for what I’ve said and what’s been going on, and … it doesn’t reflect any of my beliefs going on now.
A teammate, Lorenzo Cain, was sympathetic:
He was young. We all say some crazy stuff when we’re young. That’s one reason why I don’t have social media — for things like this. You always in trouble [sic] for things you said when you’re younger. So we move on from it.
But the league isn’t moving on from it. They are meting out punishment to an adult who made regrettable comments as a child.
It’s interesting that the league chose not to assign sensitivity training to another of its players, Yuli Gurriel, after he slanted his eyes while mouthing a racial epithet at Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish in the 2017 World Series. Maybe the reason is that Gurriel, who is Cuban, is a member of a protected class, while lily-white Josh Hader is not.