Trea Turner issues public apology for offensive tweets: 'Words hurt'

Washington Nationals shortstop Trea Turner publicly apologized for the offensive language he used in tweets from 2011 and 2012 in a news conference Tuesday.

Multiple old tweets of Turner’s came to light on Twitter Sunday afternoon that contained offensive language. Turner would have been 17 or 18 years old when he published the tweets, and at least four of them contain both racist language and homophobic slurs.

Be advised that the language used in the tweets below is offensive.

Turner is one of three MLB players to have old Tweets unearthed in the past two weeks; the others were the Brewers’ Josh Hader and the Braves’ Sean Newcomb. Hader, whose were exposed during the All-Star Game, apologized publicly directly after the game, and then privately to his teammates. Newcomb apologized after he pitched Sunday.

Turner is the first to schedule a standalone news conference for his apology, and you can view his opening statement below:

“It’s not when I said the things I said, it’s that I said them at all,” Turner explained, specifically calling out the LGBT, African American, and special needs communities. He also apologized for the distraction he brought to the team.

His apology comes a day after teammate Sean Doolittle issued a strong response to players whose offensive tweets have resurfaced. Doolittle tweeted that he believes that players in that situation have likely changed, but that players need to be aware of how their words affect others who feel marginalized and vulnerable. 

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CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 12: Washington Nationals prospect Trea Turner #8 of Team USA throws a baseball during the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game against the World Team at Great American Ball Park on July 12, 2015 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Team USA defeated the World Team 10-1. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
31 AUG 2015: Washington Nationals' Trea Turner (7) makes an out at second base during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium in St. Louis Missouri. (Photo by Scott Kane/Icon Sportswire/Corbis via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST, 21: Washington Nationals prospect Trea Turner on August 21, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 23: Trea Turner #7 of the Washington Nationals signs autographs before a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at Nationals Park on July 23, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 21: Washington Nationals second baseman Trea Turner (7) smiles after swiping third base in the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 21, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 7: Trea Turner #7 of the Washington Nationals bats in the eighth inning against the San Francisco Giants during a MLB baseball game at Nationals Park on August 7, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Washington Nationals/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 11: Trea Turner #7 of the Washington Nationals leads off first base during a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Nationals Park on September 11, 2016 in Washington, DC. The Nationals won 3-2. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
October 09 2016: Washington Nationals center fielder Trea Turner (7) hits a single in the third inning during game two of the NLDS at Nationals Park, in Washington D.C. (Photo by Tony Quinn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 9: Trea Turner #7 of the Washington Nationals celebrates with teammate Ryan Zimmerman #11 after scoring off of an RBI single hit by Daniel Murphy #20 (not pictured) in the fifth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers during game two of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park on October 9, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 6: Trea Turner #7 of the Washington Nationals throws to first during the game against the Miami Marlins at Nationals Park on Thursday, April 6, 2017 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 05: Trea Turner #7 of the Washington Nationals warms up before a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on May 5, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 2: Trea Turner #7 of the Washington Nationals fields during the game against the Oakland Athletics at the Oakland Alameda Coliseum on June 2, 2017 in Oakland, California. The Nationals defeated the Athletics 13-3. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 14: Trea Turner #7 of the Washington Nationals looks on during the game against the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park on June 14, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Tringali/SportsChrome/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 28: Washington Nationals shortstop Trea Turner (7) leaps up to make a throw to first for an out in the ninth inning during a MLB game between the Washington Nationals and the Chicago Cubs on June 28, 2017, at Nationals Park, in Washington DC. The Nationals defeated the Cubs 8-4. (Photo by Tony Quinn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 07: Trea Turner #7 of the Washington Nationals bats against the Philadelphia Phillies at Nationals Park on September 7, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 06: Trea Turner #7 of the Washington Nationals fields a ground ball against the Chicago Cubs in the 6th inning during game one of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park on October 6, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
WEST PALM BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 22: Trea Turner #7 of the Washington Nationals poses for a photo during photo days at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches on February 22, 2018 in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 14: Trea Turner #7 of the Washington Nationals bats against the Colorado Rockies in the eighth inning at Nationals Park on April 14, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 29: Washington Nationals shortstop Trea Turner (7) before a MLB game between the Washington Nationals and the Arizona Diamondbacks, on April 29, 2018, at Nationals Park, in Washington, D.C. The Nationals defeated the Diamondbacks 3-1. (Photo by Tony Quinn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 20: Trea Turner #7 of the Washington Nationals bats in the eighth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Nationals Park on May 20, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - JUNE 15: Trea Turner #7 of the Washington Nationals cannot throw out Aledmys Diaz #1 of the Toronto Blue Jays who hits an infield single in the third inning during MLB game action at Rogers Centre on June 15, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WI - JULY 23: Trea Turner #7 of the Washington Nationals walks across the field in the fourth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on July 23, 2018 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
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Doolittle also noted that athletes can use their social media platforms for good, which Turner said is his intent going forward.

Turner was given a standard reception from Nationals fans before his first plate appearance in Tuesday’s game against the New York Mets.

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