Atlanta Braves pitcher Sean Newcomb is the latest baseball player to apologize after old offensive tweets of his were found by fans. Newcomb, 25, was in the middle of the best start of his MLB career – taking a no-hitter to the final out of the ninth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers before giving up a 2-out hit to Chris Taylor – when the tweets were discovered.
The old Twitter posts, which include racist and homophobic slurs, were made when he was 18 and 19 and was a senior at Middleboro High School in Massachusetts. The apology comes after Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher Josh Hader had his own old tweets surface as he pitched in the All-Star game on July 17. Newcomb deleted his entire Twitter account, @SeanNewk, after the game against the Dodgers.
After the game, Newcomb told reporters he saw that the old tweets had been found and wanted to apologize. “This is something that obviously can’t be happening. I feel bad about it. I don’t mean to offend anybody. I definitely regret it,” he said, according to Fox Sports South’s Kelsey Wingert. “I think that people who know me know that’s not the kind of person I am.”
One of the tweets, “skinny n*gga, big balls,” is a lyric from the Drake song, “The Motto.”
You can see some of the tweets below (Warning – Offensive Language):
In one tweet, posted December 12, 2011, when he was an 18-year-old high school senior, Newcomb wrote, “This gay black kid won’t stop presenting about black hair…#iwanttoleave.” In another, from April 2012, when he was 19, he wrote, “I’m not lazy #f*g.”
He tweeted several other tweets in 2012 using the homophibic slur, including calling friends “f*gs,” and writing, “everyone tweets #f*gs.”
In a 2011 tweet, he wrote, “gay guy just told me, ‘whipped cream is coming tomorrow’ …. WOAH!”And in September 2011, he wrote, “You f*ggetts better shut the f*ck up before I put that N64 up your ass.”
USA Today’s Steve Gardner posted other tweets by Newcomb, including 8 uses of the word “f*g.” Garnder said other homophobic tweets were deleted before he saved them.
The Braves Say the Tweets Are ‘Hurtful & Incredibly Disappointing
The Braves released a statement after the game, “We are aware of the tweets that surfaced after today’s game and have spoken to Sean who is incredibly remorseful. Regardless of how long ago he posted them, he is aware of the insensitivity and is taking full responsibility. We find the tweets hurtful and incredibly disappointing and even though he was 18 or 19 years old when posted, it doesn’t make them any less tolerable. We will work together with Sean towards mending the wounds created in our community.”
According to ESPN, Newcomb told reporters after the game, “I just wanted to apologize for any insensitive material. It was a long time ago, six or seven years ago, saying some stupid stuff with friends. I know I’ve grown a lot since then. I didn’t mean anything by it. It was just something stupid I did a long time ago and I didn’t mean anything by it, for sure.”
Newcomb Is Likely to Receive Sensitivity Training, but Not a Suspension
After Hader’s tweets surfaced, the MLB said he would not be suspended, but instead would be subject to sensitivity training. It is likely the same will happen with Newcomb.
“During last night’s game we became aware of Mr. Hader’s unacceptable social media comments in years past and have since been in communication with the Brewers regarding our shared concerns,” the MLB said in a statement after the Hader incident. “After the game, Mr. Hader took the necessary step of expressing remorse for his highly offensive and hurtful language, which fails to represent the values of our game and our expectations for all those who are a part of it. The Office of the Commissioner will require sensitivity training for Mr. Hader and participation in MLB’s diversity and inclusion initiatives.”
About Newcomb, the MLB said, “Such inappropriate comments have no place in our game. We are aware of this serious issue, Billy Bean will meet with Mr. Newcomb this week, and we will identify an appropriate course of diversity training in the Atlanta community.”
Newcomb was acquired by the Braves in 2015 from the Los Angeles Angels in a trade that sent Andrelton Simmons to Los Angeles. He was drafted by the Angels in the first round of the 2014 draft out of the University of Hartford in Connecticut. Newcomb has a 10-5 record with a 3.23 ERA this season for the Braves, who are surprising contenders in the NL East.