Here we go again.
For the fourth time this sumer, the ghost of a Major League Baseball player’s Twitter past has has come back to haunt them. The offending party this time is Chiago White Sox pitcher Michael Kopech, a 22-year-old rookie who was 17 when the insemnsitive tweets were authored back in 2013. And he’s now in the midst of an obligatory apology tour.
“I had to delete some stuff,” Kopech told the Chicago Sun-Times on Thursday. “Things I said that were immature and inappropriate. I used some poor language in there. Obviously, I’m trying to be looked at as a role model and the last thing I want to do is have some kid look at what I’m saying and take it the wrong way.”
Some of the tweets in queston, which have since been deleted, reportedly contained the N-word. While Kopech’s mea culpa may have a familiar ring to it, he’s nonetheless making an earnest attempt at explaining himself.
“It’s unfortunate that I was ever at that point mentally but it’s not who I am now,” Kopech continued. “I cleaned some tweets up and tried to get rid of them, but obviously people saw them. It’s not who I am now and it’s not who I want to be. It was something I did in high school and with everything I’ve gone through in pro ball the last five seasons I feel like a big part of my career was maturing. Hate to see it but it’s not who I am anymore.”
Kopech is the latest MLB player to be slapped in the face by a controversial social media history. Last month, homophobic and misogynistic tweets made in 2011 and 2012 by Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher Josh Hader surfaced during the All-Star game. Less than two weeks later, Atlanta Braves pitcher Sean Newcomb and Washington Nationals shortstop Trea Turner found themselves in identical quandaries, having to explain past tweets that included racially insensitive language and homophobic slurs.
A first-round pick by the Boston Red Sox in 2014, Kopech has been in the headlines before. In 2015, he was handed a 50-game suspension after testing positive for a banned substance. He was traded to Chicago the following year.