July 30, 2018 / 3:56 AM / a year ago

Nats' Turner becomes latest to apologize for old tweets

Washington Nationals shortstop Trea Turner apologized Sunday night after he became the latest major-leaguer to have years-old offensive tweets surface.

Jul 10, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Washington Nationals shortstop Trea Turner (7) in the on-deck circle against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the fifth inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

After a Twitter user on Sunday dug up racist and homophobic tweets that Turner posted in 2011 and 2012 when he was an 18-year-old freshman at North Carolina State, Turner issued a statement through the Nationals: “There are no excuses for my insensitive and offensive language on Twitter. I am sincerely sorry for those tweets and apologize wholeheartedly.

“I believe people who know me understand those regrettable actions do not reflect my values or who I am. But I understand the hurtful nature of such language and am sorry to have brought any negative light to the Nationals organization, myself or the game I love.”

Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo issued a statement that read, “I have spoken with Trea regarding the tweets that surfaced earlier tonight. He understands that his comments — regardless of when they were posted — are inexcusable and is taking full responsibility for his actions. The Nationals organization does not condone discrimination in any form, and his comments in no way reflect the values of our club.

“Trea has been a good teammate and model citizen in our clubhouse, and these comments are not indicative of how he has conducted himself while part of our team. He has apologized to me and to the organization for his comments.”

Turner’s old tweets were discovered as part of what appears to a back-and-forth between Nationals fans and Atlanta Braves fans. Earlier Sunday, while Braves left-hander Sean Newcomb was working on a no-hit bid against the Los Angeles Dodgers, a Nationals-focused Twitter account posted copies of old Newcomb tweets that included racist and homophobic language.

The Twitter account that later posted Turner’s old tweets features a Braves logo and has “ATL fan” as part of the user name.

Major League Baseball responded to the Newcomb incident by ordering the pitcher to undergo diversity training, the same punishment given to Milwaukee Brewers reliever Josh Hader when his old offensive tweets came to light earlier this month. Neither pitcher was suspended.

MLB hadn’t immediately responded regarding the Turner revelation.

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