Last night, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported that Major League Baseball was looking into a since-deleted tweet written by umpire Rob Drake in which he threatened to buy an AR-15 in preparation for a “cival war” [sic] in the event President Trump was impeached. Drake later deleted his entire account, which contained a litany of political tweets and retweets.
Drake, 50, sent out a statement through ESPN in which he apologized for his tweet. Via Passan:
I want to personally apologize to everyone that my words made feel less safe. I especially want to apologize to every person who has been affected by gun violence in our country. I also acknowledge and apologize for the controversy this has brought to Major League Baseball, my fellow umpires, and my family. I never intended to diminish the threat of violence from assault weapons, or violence of any kind.
I’m going to learn from this. Once I read what I had tweeted I realized the violence in those words and have since deleted it. I know that I cannot unsay the words, but please accept my sincerest apologies.
As far as apologies go, this is terrific. He acknowledges the harmful behavior and who it affected, takes full responsibility, and explains what recourse he is taking. The Astros could learn a lesson or two from this. Kudos to Drake for the quality apology.
The MLB Umpires Association published a statement on Facebook yesterday:
The #MLBUA is aware of Rob Drake’s posting on social media earlier today.
Rob is a passionate individual and an outstanding umpire. He chose the wrong way to convey his opinion about our great country. His posting does not represent the view of the MLBUA or reflect those of the umpires we represent.
The MLBUA supports all of the umpires who ensure fair play in the greatest game on earth. We are a group of individuals with diverse opinions and beliefs, united in our desire to continue our excellence officiating MLB games.
Recall that the MLBUA was livid with Manny Machado back in June because he was only suspended one game for “aggressively arguing” and making contact with umpire Bill Welke. The MLBUA wrote a hashtag-laden post on Twitter which read, “Manny Machado received a one-game suspension for contact with an umpire over balls and strikes and VIOLENTLY throwing his bat against the backstop with absolutely no regard to anyone’s safety. Violence in the workplace is not tolerated, and offenders are dealt with severely and even made examples of for the good of it’s [sic] employees, as well as the company itself. Is this truly what MLB wants to teach our youth?”
If only the MLBUA felt as strongly about one of its own calling for armed insurrection as it did about Machado slamming and throwing equipment around no one in particular.