Brewers reliever Josh Hader only pitched a third of an inning during Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game Tuesday night, before serving up a three-run blast to Jean Segura that gave the American League the lead in the eighth inning.
That wasn’t even the worst part of Josh Hader’s All-Star experience, as it went from bad to awful very quickly.
A fun, light hearted, three-day All-Star celebration at Nationals Park in D.C. wrapped up in an appalling manner, when a slew of offensive tweets surfaced from Josh Hader’s account over a two-year span dating back to 2011 and 2012.
The tweets were racist, homophobic, and misogynistic, turning an embarrassing performance into a public relations crisis for both Hader and Major League Baseball (MLB).
After Hader surrendered the three-run homer in the eighth inning, Twitter users found and retweeted tweets that Hader ignorantly sent out as a 17-year-old. Since Tuesday, Hader had since made his account private.
In Hader’s post-game interview, Hader apologized for his tweets.
“You know, it was something that happened when I was 17 years old,” he said. “As a child, I was immature, and I obviously said some things that were inexcusable. That doesn’t reflect on who I am as a person today, and that’s just what it is.”
Teammates like Jesus Aguilar, Lorenzo Cain, and Keon Broxton, have showed support and suggest they would like to move past the issue.
MLB issued a statement stating that the Office of the Commissioner will require Hader to partake in sensitivity training and MLB’s diversity and inclusion initiatives. Brewers GM David Stearns issued a statement via Twitter as well.
Rookie quarterback of the Buffalo Bills, Josh Allen, recently had a similar situation where offensive tweets resurfaced.
This unfortunate situation offers yet another cautionary tale on how social media content – comments, opinions, photos, videos, etc. – cannot be easily erased once posted. Global brands, up-and-coming athletes and everyone in between must be mindful of your digital persona and what is being shared on social media. Otherwise, anything deemed questionable or insensitive (i.e. United Airlines) will be tried in the public court of (social media) opinion.
Check out a previous blog post that covers how to proactively avoid a PR crisis from happening in the first place.