Major League Baseball announced today that it will require Brewers pitcher Josh Hader to undergo sensitivity training and to participate in the league’s “diversity and inclusion initiatives.” The determination came down quickly, after it emerged last night — in the midst of the All-Star Game — that Hader had sent a variety of offensive tweets before he became a professional baseball player.
Per the league announcement, it was determined that Hader “took the necessary step of expressing remorse for his highly offensive and hurtful language.” Indeed, the now-24-year-old called his own prior statements “inexcusable,” apologizing for what he framed as a youthful mistake — he called himself “young, immature and stupid” — that does not “reflect any of my beliefs going on now.”
Those interested in reading up on the situation can find a worthwhile summation from Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, who documents the tweets and Hader’s response. Needless to say, Hader’s words were deeply offensive. It is encouraging that he acknowledged as much, though clearly he has much work to do to make amends.
Hader stated last night that he is “ready for any consequences” that may come. The league evidently will not impose punishment, per se. Nor, perhaps, would that have been appropriate. While many suggested last night that a suspension may have been warranted, that’s a difficult proposition given that the tweets were sent before Hader was even drafted.
A statement from Brewers GM David Stearns (on Twitter) suggests that the team expects Hader to continue “taking full responsibility for the consequences of his actions.” It’s unclear just what precise expectations the club will set, but it does not sound as if any specific disciplinary action is planned. Stearns says the Brewers “will continue to work through this issue with Josh as we prepare to resume games after the [All-Star] break.”
That said, there’ll surely be broader consequences for Hader, who is in his first full season in the majors. Hopefully, he’ll proactively address this matter and seek ways to turn his prior missteps into an opportunity to grow and make a positive contribution.