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One thing I don’t understand:

Why would anyone jump on Twitter and post a racial slur or homophobic tirade?

What is the upside? You rile up a dozen of your followers for 30 seconds?

Because the downside is that you look like a total fucking asshole to millions of people years from now, when your idiotic tweets are uncovered, and your career is threatened and your reputation is ruined. 

That is a really bad return on investment.

Recently, major league baseball has had to deal with the fallout of several of its players who have had their old bigoted tweets unearthed.

Among them is reliever Josh Hader, an All-Star who pitches for my hometown Milwaukee Brewers.

Hader, like his fellow misguided tweeters, has apologized profusely for his words and insisted that his hateful outbursts are not indicative of who he is today.

OK, sure. Let’s go ahead and give the guy the benefit of the doubt. He was a dick when he was a teenager, but now he’s older and wiser, and not a racist jerk. 

But this issue goes beyond a couple of pitchers who may or may not have issues with ethnic minorities.

You see, when Hader took the mound in Milwaukee for the first time after his apology, Brewers fans gave him a standing ovation.

I can’t be the only one who found that distasteful. I’d like to think that most of my fellow fans were just trying to be supportive of Hader’s quest for redemption.

But I also know my hometown. Milwaukee has long had problematic racial issues, even by the problematic standards of the USA.

I can’t help but think that some of those fans were cheering for Hader because he wasn’t “politically correct” or because they wanted to stick it to the libs or some bizarre motivation like that. And some of them, unfortunately, were cheering for Hader’s original tweets and wanted to indicate that he nothing to apologize for.

If that sounds paranoid or accusatory, let’s try a thought experiment.

Imagine that Lorenzo Cain, also a Milwaukee Brewer and also an All-Star, had old tweets surface in which he denigrated people of a different race. The catch (and I’m sure you saw it coming) is that Cain is African American, and let’s pretend that he slurred white people.

In such a scenario, it’s difficult to“imagine thousands of white fans rising to their feet and giving him a standing ovation, even after he apologizes and blames youthful indiscretion.”

It’s not just about my hometown, of course. You see,  “baseball has the oldest (average age of an MLB viewer in 2016: 57) and one of the whitest (83 percent in 2013) viewerships of any major American sport.”

It means that baseball — despite its prominence in Latino culture — has a fan base that is more likely to be both more socially conservative and more forgiving of white athletes who screw up.

And this means that young white fireballers who tweet vile things are more likely to get standing o’s, whether they are deserved or not.

By the way, I do indeed have a Twitter account. You can check it out here.

Go ahead and dig around. You won’t find any racist tweets.


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