Washington Nationals left-hander Sean Doolittle used his Twitter account to comment on potentially damaging tweets from some MLB players in recent weeks.
“It’s been a tough couple of weeks for baseball on Twitter,” Doolittle said. “It sucks to see racist and homophobic language coming from inside our league — a league I’m so proud to be a part of that I’ve worked really hard to make a more accepting and inclusive place for all our fans to enjoy.”
Added Doolittle in his series of nine tweets on the subject: “It’s entirely possible that those old posts no longer reflect that person’s views. But actions will speak louder than words.”
Milwaukee Brewers reliever Josh Hader, Atlanta Braves pitcher Sean Newcomb and Washington Nationals shortstop Trea Turner helped trigger a firestorm after offensive tweets from years ago resurfaced. The MLB has asked some players to go through sensitivity training and participate in diversity and inclusion initiatives.
Doolittle added: “It can be tough for athletes to understand why these words are so hurtful. Most of us have been at the top of the food chain since [high school], immune to insults. When all you’ve known is success and triumph it can be difficult to empathize with feeling vulnerable or marginalized.”
Noting he met his wife on Twitter, Doolittle said there are benefits to pro athletes being on social media, from sharing their personal journeys to connecting with fans: “Rather than feeling like this platform makes us targets and we have to censor ourselves, find a way to use the platform to lift others up and make a positive impact.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.