Nats closer Sean Doolittle issues strong response to MLB players' offensive tweets

Major League Baseball has not covered itself in glory over the past few weeks. Since the All-Star Game, three young stars have had tweets surface in which they used homophobic or racist language.

On Monday, Washington Nationals closer Sean Doolittle responded to seeing those offensive tweets with a thoughtful thread on how athletes can use social media to make the game a more inclusive place.

He began by addressing the hateful tweets directly:

He went on to explain that people need to focus both on the content of the tweets and the time in which they were written. Doolittle then explained that growth and reflection are possible, but it’s about more than just words.

He finishes that thread by saying words matter, even if the intent of those words was not meant to offend. He says athletes need to empathize with others who feel marginalized and vulnerable. He condemns hate speech against the LGBTQIA community, and closes with the following:

Doolittle doesn’t mention specific players by name, but since the All-Star Game, Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Josh Hader, Atlanta Braves pitcher Sean Newcomb and Nationals infielder Trea Turner have all had offensive tweets emerge. Turner and Doolittle are currently teammates.

Since Newcomb and Turner’s tweets were revealed, some analysts — and even some players — have suggested athletes should remove themselves from social media all together. Doolittle disagrees with that idea, saying athletes can make a positive change using social media platforms.

Doolittle’s statements are the most thoughtful and considered of any MLB player thus far, including those who have issued apologies. Doolittle has not shied away from discussing social issues in the past. It remains to be seen whether his words will influence other players to speak out on the issue.

Sean Doolittle gave some thoughts on how players should approach social media. (AP Photo)
Sean Doolittle gave some thoughts on how players should approach social media. (AP Photo)

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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