It’s impossible to know exactly what motivated Milwaukee Brewers fans to give Josh Hader a roaring standing ovation in his first appearance on the mound since his racist and homophobic tweets surfaced last week. But Milwaukee Alderman Khalif Rainey thinks he has a pretty good idea, and he calls it “an embarrassment to the world.”
“The boisterous manner of standing to show support for Hader is nothing less than a dismissive stance against the problems of race affecting an entire community: a community dealing with the effects of hyper-segregation, economic disparity and police harassment,” Rainey said in a statement issued Monday, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Hader, 24, came on in relief in the top of the seventh-inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers Saturday, jogging onto the field from the bullpen to a raucous, mostly standing, ovation. It was his first outing since Twitter users retweeted some of Hader’s tweets from 2011 and 2012 when he was in high school, which included “I hate gay people,” “white power,” and “KKK.” One retweeted post quoted Hader as saying he only wanted women for cooking, cleaning and sex.
Hader has since apologized to both the pubic and his teammates and Brewers general manager David Stearns also released a statement calling the tweets “inexcusable.” Rainey, however, says Stearns did not take a hard enough line in addressing the controversy.
“[Stearns] did not take the opportunity to acknowledge Hader’s comments are an example of a larger issue related to racism,” Rainey wrote. “Let us honor the great sports legacy of Milwaukee by having the courage to acknowledge problems being felt in parts of the city and some of the structural problems working against those members of the community.”