Washington Nationals shortstop Trea Turner is the latest professional athlete who had offensive tweets from his past resurface recently.
A few tweets from 2011 and 2012 that began circulating Sunday night used offensive language in off-color jokes involving black, gay and disabled people:
“There are no excuses for my insensitive and offensive language on Twitter,” Turner wrote in a statement released by the Nationals. “I am sincerely sorry for those tweets and apologize wholeheartedly. I believe people who know me understand those regrettable actions do not reflect my values or who I am. But I understand the hurtful nature of such language and am sorry to have brought any negative light to the Nationals organization, myself or the game I love.”
“I have spoken with Trea regarding the tweets that surfaced earlier tonight,” general manager Mike Rizzo added in a statement. “He understands that his comments — regardless of when they were posted — are inexcusable and is taking full responsibility for his actions. The Nationals organization does not condone discrimination in any form, and his comments in no way reflect the values of our club. Trea has been a good teammate and model citizen in our clubhouse, and these comments are not indicative of how he has conducted himself while part of our team. He has apologized to me and to the organization for his comments.”
Turner, 25, was 18 when he wrote the tweets in question. He is the latest baseball player to apologize for messages on social media of varying degrees of racism, homophobia and sexism. During the All-Star Game at National Park, someone found and circulated racist tweets from Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Josh Hader, and Atlanta Braves pitcher Sean Newcomb was caught in the same position as Turner this weekend.
There is no word yet that Turner will face disciplinary action of any kind. Hader was not suspended by either his team or MLB, but was required to start attending sensitivity training.
It has not been a good July for Turner, who was a runner-up for the final vote for the National League All-Star Game. Nationals manager Dave Martinez criticized him and benched him for a game last week after he didn’t run out a bunt.