"I was young, immature and stupid" - When Josh Hader expressed regret over 'inexcusable' racist & homophobic tweets

Josh Hader was at the forefront of social media backlash in 2018 after racist and homophobic posts emerged
Josh Hader was at the forefront of social media backlash in 2018 after racist and homophobic posts emerged

For nearly a decade, Josh Hader has been one of the best relief pitchers in the MLB. The hard-throwing closer has made a name for himself for his elite velocity and consistency out of the bullpen. Over the course of his seven-year career, Hader has been one of the most feared bullpen arms in the league, racking up 165 saves in the process.

Josh Hader continued his reign as arguably the best closer in baseball last season, earning the fifth All-Star selection of his career. Over 56.1 innings, Hader posted a dazzling 1.28 ERA with 33 saves and 85 strikeouts. The three-time National League Reliever of the Year Award winner was able to turn that level of success into a massive free-agent contract with the Houston Astros.

That being said, even though Hader has been one of the best players at his position throughout his career, he is not without controversy. During the 2018 All-Star Game, which was the first of his career, the then-24-year-old caused a media stir as the result of previous posts on social media.

The All-Star closer found himself in the middle of the headlines for racist and homophobic posts that he made on Twitter (now known as X). The posts, which were made when he was 17 years old, targeted a number of groups, which led to the relief pitcher having to publicly apologize, hurting his budding reputation in the MLB.

"What does it look like in the immediate aftermath of vile old tweets surfacing? My dispatch from the All-Star Game, where Josh Hader entered the game a strikeout-happy reliever and left a pariah with a racist, sexist, bigoted and homophobic past." - @JeffPassan

"I was young, immature and stupid," the then-Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher told the media. The controversial moment led to Hader having to undergo sensitivity training and participate in its diversity and inclusion initiatives.

“As a child, I was immature and 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."

Josh Hader faced backlash throughout the media after his tweets were made public

Following the revelation of Hader's past social media posts, the relief pitcher was booed by opposing fans throughout the MLB, including the home crowd of the San Francisco Giants.

"Chorus of boos for Josh Hader here in San Francisco. It's Hader's first road game since his racist and homophobic tweets surfaced." - @SamHustis

The controversial tweets led to much scrutiny around the budding young relief pitcher, with a number of top media members commenting on the situation, including Shannon Sharpe and Jeff Passan. The All-Star pitcher has since deleted his X account (formerly known as Twitter).

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Edited by Chaitanya Prakash