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Hader apologizes for offensive tweets from past

Brewers reliever to participate in sensitivity training, diversity and inclusion initiatives
MLB.com @AdamMcCalvy

WASHINGTON -- Brewers reliever Josh Hader answered for a series of offensive tweets from 2011 and '12 after they surfaced in the wake of his appearance in Tuesday's All-Star Game.

"I was young, immature and stupid," Hader said. "There's no excuses for what was said."

WASHINGTON -- Brewers reliever Josh Hader answered for a series of offensive tweets from 2011 and '12 after they surfaced in the wake of his appearance in Tuesday's All-Star Game.

"I was young, immature and stupid," Hader said. "There's no excuses for what was said."

Addressing reporters after the National League's 8-6, 10-inning loss at Nationals Park, Hader said he didn't vividly remember sending the messages, which were racist, sexist and homophobic in nature.

Major League Baseball said on Wednesday that Hader will participate in sensitivity training and MLB's diversity and inclusion initiatives.

"It was something that happened when I was 17 years old, and as a child, I was immature and obviously I did some things that were inexcusable," Hader said. "That doesn't reflect on who I am as a person today."

The tweets preceded Hader being drafted by the Orioles in 2012 out of high school in Millersville, Md., just 30 minutes from Nationals Park. He rose to prospect status in the Astros' and Brewers' Minor League systems before making it to the Majors with Milwaukee last year.

"I was in high school," Hader said. "We're still learning who we are in high school. You live and you learn. This mistake won't happen again."

Hader said he learned the messages had surfaced prominently on Twitter when he returned to the clubhouse after his appearance in the eighth inning "and my phone was blowing up." An official had summoned him from the NL dugout to alert him to the situation.

"There's no excuse for what was said, and I'm deeply sorry for what I said and what's going on," Hader said. "Like I said, that doesn't reflect on my beliefs going on now."

The Brewers issued a statement from general manager David Stearns on Wednesday.

"We have been in contact with Josh and he is fully aware of the severity of the situation related to his social media comments, regardless of the timeline of his posts," Stearns said. "His comments are inexcusable, and he is taking full responsibility for the consequences of his actions. In no way do these sentiments reflect the views of the Brewers organization or our community.

"Those of us that have come to know Josh do not believe that these posts are representative of his beliefs. He has been a good teammate and contributor to the team in every way.

"We will continue to work through this issue with Josh as we prepare to resume games after the break."

MLB issued the following statement:

"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. 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."

Hader was one of five Brewers players in the All-Star Game, and his teammates -- including Lorenzo Cain and Jeremy Jeffress, who are African-American -- were still catching up on the matter when the clubhouse opened to media.

Hader spent several moments talking to Cain before Cain answered questions.

"He's young, we all say some crazy stuff when we're young," said Cain. "That's the reason I don't have social media, things like this. You always get in trouble for things you say when you're younger. We'll move on from it. The situation is what it is. I know Hader, he's a great guy. I know he's a great teammate. I'm fine. Everybody will be OK. We'll move on from it.

"At the end of the day, we've all said crazy stuff growing up, even when we were 17, 18 years old. If we could follow each other around with a recorder all day, I'm sure we've all said some dumb stuff. We're going to move on from this."

Asked whether Hader specifically apologized, Cain said, "I didn't ask for an apology. I wanted to understand the situation before I talked to you guys. … I heard about the hate comments, that's all I heard. We'll talk more about it once we get on the plane."

Video: Cain talks about Hader's past tweets

Another of Hader's teammates, All-Star slugger Jesus Aguilar, came to the reliever's defense with a pair of tweets on Wednesday afternoon in which he highlighted Hader's capacity to learn from past mistakes.

Tweet from @JAguilarMKE: First of all I want to show my support to my friend and teammate, Josh Hader. He made a mistake 7 years ago. He admitted, he apologized and most important: He learned from it.

"First of all I want to show my support to my friend and teammate, Josh Hader," Aguilar tweeted. "He made a mistake 7 years ago. He admitted, he apologized and most important: He learned from it. Regarding accusations of racism: I'm Venezuelan and with the skin color that I have, can tell you that it is a lie. Obviously he's not racist. He's a great player and a better person. Great teammate. And you know it."

Tweet from @JAguilarMKE: Regarding accusations of racism: I���m Venezuelan and with the skin color that I have, can tell you that it is a lie. Obviously he���s not racist.He���s a great player and a better person. Great teammate.And you know it

In the game, Hader took over after Rockies shortstop Trevor Story's home run in the bottom of the seventh inning pulled the NL into a 2-2 tie. Hader surrendered three runs (one earned) on four hits, including Jean Segura's tiebreaking three-run home run.

Hader has a 1.50 ERA in 31 regular-season appearances and 89 strikeouts in 48 innings. He is on pace to join Aroldis Chapman (Reds, 2014) and Craig Kimbrel (Braves, 2012) as the only qualified relievers in Major League history to strike out more than half of the batters they face.

Asked whether he was worried about a suspension, Hader said, "I just live up to what happened and move on from it. We all make mistakes. I'm ready for any consequences for what happened seven years ago."

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.

Milwaukee Brewers, Josh Hader