Milwaukee Brewers fans let Josh Hader know that they’re still in his corner despite several of his past racist, sexist, bigoted and homophobic tweets surfacing following his appearance in Tuesday’s All-Star Game.
The second-year reliever was cheered loudly when he entered to pitch the seventh inning of Milwaukee’s 4-2 win against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday night at Miller Park.
Brewers fans greet Josh Hader with loud cheers in his first appearance since racist and homophobic tweets from his teen years surfaced at the All-Star Game. Hader has since apologized.
— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) July 22, 2018
Here’s a sample of Hader’s reception, which shows several fans coming to their feet after his name was announced.
Rather warm reception as Hader takes the mound. pic.twitter.com/cqSUSIRIG1
— Andrew Wagner (@ByAndrewWagner) July 22, 2018
Hader received another rousing ovation after completing two scoreless innings on the hill. After the game, he was appreciative of the support.
Josh Hader on pitching tonight: "This is what I love to do. It helps me clear my mind and that's really what I did today."
On fan reaction here and elsewhere: "I'm not expecting that everybody's going to forgive me early, but I just hope that people see my true character today."
— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) July 22, 2018
The warm greeting comes one day after Hader earned the support of his teammates by delivering a reportedly tearful apology in the clubhouse. Hader apologized again publicly while meeting the media before Friday’s game.
Hader first apologized immediately following his appearance in the All-Star Game. The tweets were originally discovered moments after he allowed a home run to Jean Segura of the Seattle Mariners. The offensive tweets were posted over an eight-month span when Hader was 17.
Major League Baseball decided Hader’s tweets did not warrant a suspension. However, he will be required to go through sensitivity training and participate in diversity and inclusion initiatives. Hader began that process Friday after meeting with Billy Bean, who serves as the league’s ambassador for inclusion.
In Milwaukee, it’s clear the focus is back on Hader’s performance. He retired six of the seven batters he faced in Saturday’s outing, with four outs coming by strikeout. Hader lowered his season ERA to 1.44, while the Brewers snapped a seven-game losing streak.
It will be interesting to see now how Hader is received elsewhere around MLB. The Brewers next road game will be Thursday night in San Francisco.
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