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Sean Newcomb regrets offensive tweets from his past

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Braves starter Sean Newcomb fell one out shy of a no-hitter on Sunday afternoon against the Dodgers. While his no-hit bid was in progress, some Twitter users found some of Newcomb’s older tweets in which he used offensive language including racist and homophobic slurs. Newcomb deleted the tweets once they were discovered, but you can see some screenshots here, courtesy @NatsSquid:

It wasn’t just a couple of tweets in which Newcomb used offensive language. Before the tweets were deleted, a Twitter search of Newcomb’s tweets yielded close to 20 results for a certain f-word slur. This was a regular part of the way he engaged with people on social media.

Newcomb addressed the media after Sunday’s game. Via Kelsey Wingert of Fox Sports South:

This is essentially the same non-apology that Brewers reliever Josh Hader gave when his offensive tweets surfaced during the All-Star Game two weeks ago. “I don’t mean to offend anybody” isn’t an apology and it isn’t an admission of fault. It’s made worse when he uses the ages-old “that’s not who I am” statement. It’s quite possible that Newcomb isn’t a person who still uses such language as a 25-year-old, but it’s a matter of fact that he used that language freely and willingly as a 19-year-old. That’s who he was, at minimum. He is a person who thought it was acceptable to use language minimizing people from marginalized groups.

After Hader’s tweets made the rounds, Major League Baseball “punished‘ him by making him take sensitivity training and to participate in diversity initiatives. It’s likely that Newcomb will get a similar punishment. Major League Baseball — and the Braves — should do more to set an example and to show fans of color and LGBTQ communities that athletes using that kind of language will not be tolerated. Demographically, baseball fans are the oldest and whitest of the major sports. Doing nothing about players who speak or have spoken hatefully will only show members of marginalized groups that they are still not welcome.

Of course, the Braves punishing Newcomb for bigoted tweets would come off as hypocritical since they regularly encourage their fans to engage in a racist chant. Let’s get rid of that while we’re at it.

Red Sox employees “livid” over team pay cut plan

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Even Drellich of The Athletic reports that the Boston Red Sox are cutting the pay of team employees. Those cuts, which began to be communicated last night, apply to all employees making $50,000 or more. They are tiered cuts, with people making $50-99,000 seeing salary cut by 20%, those making $100k-$499,000 seeing $25% cuts and those making $500,000 or more getting 30% cuts.

Drellich reported that a Red Sox employee told him that “people are livid” over the fact that those making $100K are being treated the same way as those making $500K. And, yes, that does seem to be a pretty wide spread for similar pay cuts. One would think that a team with as many analytically-oriented people on staff could perhaps break things down a bit more granularly.

Notable in all of this that the same folks who own the Red Sox — Fenway Sports Group — own Liverpool FC of the English Premier League, and that just last month Liverpool’s pay cut/employee furlough policies proved so unpopular that they led to a backlash and a subsequent reversal by the club. That came after intense criticism from Liverpool fan groups and local politicians. Sox owner John Henry must be confident that no such backlash will happen in Boston.

As we noted yesterday, The Kansas City Royals, who are not as financially successful as the Boston Red Sox, have not furloughed employees or cut pay as a result of baseball’s shutdown in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Perhaps someone in Boston could call the Royals and ask them how they managed that.