White Sox pitcher Michael Kopech made his big league debut on Tuesday night. This afternoon he participated in what has become a different rite of passage for young big leaguers: apologizing for racist and homophobic tweets he made as a teenager.
They’re what we’ve come to expect from this genre of ugliness. Casual use of racial slurs, racial stereotypes and believing that a good way to insult someone is to say that they are gay. You can see a few of them here. There were apparently many more, but they have all been deleted.
Late this afternoon Kopech acknowledged the tweets and apologized for them, offering the now de rigueur “that’s not who I am” stuff:
“It’s unfortunate that I was ever at that point mentally but it’s not who I am now. Yeah, I cleaned some tweets up and tried to get rid of them. But, obviously, people saw them. It’s not who I am now and it’s not who I want to be.”
White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said he is satisfied with Kopech’s apology and his assertion that he is not the same person who authored those tweets five years ago. Major League Baseball will likely still weigh in, but as we’ve seen in previous cases, they are likely going to limit it to sensitivity training or something like it. Which, to be fair, is about all the league really can do.
Kopech joins Brewers reliever Josh Hader, Braves starter Sean Newcomb and Nationals infielder Trea Turner in the “oh no, someone found my crappy old tweets!” club. Of course, given that there were already three dudes in this club, you have to wonder why any baseball player who had a Twitter account back when they were young hasn’t simply deleted every tweet they ever made. God knows if I was their agent or their general manager I’d tell them to.