The Milwaukee Brewers All-Star reliever took the mound for the first time since apologizing for past racist, homophobic tweets.
The controversy over Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Josh Hader’s insensitive social media posts from several years ago may be just the tip of the iceberg.
Several troubling tweets, many of them using a homophobic slur, from Atlanta Braves pitcher Sean Newcomb surfaced Sunday — just after Newcomb lost a no-hit bid with two outs in the ninth inning.
Twitter user @NatsSquid reproduced three tweets from 2011 and 2012 — when Newcomb, now 25, was an 18-year-old senior at Middleboro (Mass.) High School.
The first tweet with a racial epithet was a line from the rap song The Motto by Drake, featuring Lil’ Wayne and Tyga.
However the other two — as well as several more on Newcomb’s Twitter feed that have since been deleted — contained homophobic slurs.
Newcomb asked to address the media after the Braves clubhouse had closed following the game.
“This is something that obviously can’t be happening. I feel bad about it. I don’t mean to offend anybody. I definitely regret it,” he said.
He also added that he “meant nothing by it. I didn’t mean to offend anybody and I’ll make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
The Braves later released a statement that read:
“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.”
The incident was remarkably similar to what happened with Hader at this year’s All-Star Game in Washington.
After Hader’s old tweets became public, he issued an apology for his remarks immediately after the game. He was not disciplined by MLB, but will have to undergo sensitivity training.
It is expected Newcomb will receive a similar punishment.
However, last year, the Toronto Blue Jays and MLB suspended center fielder Kevin Pillar two games for his use of a homophobic slur. That incident occurred during a game, not on social media.
Follow Steve Gardner on Twitter @SteveAGardner