By Ted Gay – @TedG63
There are 21,133 people living in Millersville Maryland 72% of whom are white. The per capita household income is nearly twice, and home prices more than double, the national average. The poverty rate in our country is 12 percent. In Millersville, it is 3.6%. Millersville Maryland, located in Annapolis County, is an upper middle class, mostly white community coming from German, Irish and Italian stock, a place Tom Hayden would feel right at home.
Enter Josh Hader, star pitcher for the Old Mill High School who went undefeated struck out 125, had a 0.30 ERA and hit .400 his senior year. He was drafted in the 19th round by the hometown Orioles. He was from an affluent community, surrounded by people who looked like him, thought like him, and acted like him.
One of the most significant problems we have in this country is people whose Twitter and Facebook feeds, as well as their daily lives, are filled with people who are just like them. Not being exposed to different people and other opinions do not breed racism or homophobia, but it does breed ignorance.
And that is what Josh Hader was, when, at the age of 17, he began posting racist and homophobic tweets. I am sure his high school teammates and friends thought they were hilarious. Plus, in his mind, he was quoting rap lyrics, so it was acceptable to use the N word.
Six years later, as Hader prepared to play in his first all-star game, these tweets were exposed. Hader was branded a racist, becoming part of the national conversation. He admitted he posted the tweets when he was young and ignorant, and, the MLB, always willing to do the least they could do, ordered Hader to take sensitivity training, which has done wonders for Kirk Minihane.
I am giving Hader the benefit of the doubt. He realizes the tweets were wrong, especially after experiencing the multicultural world of professional baseball. Instead of going to sensitivity training Hader should spend the offseason speaking to high school students who are growing up in the same sheltered environment that Hader did. One man having a conversation with a therapist changes nothing. That man speaking to hundreds of people who are the age he was when he wrote those tweets would be a change for the positive.
But nothing is going to change the homophobic comments because they are still accepted in regular conversation every day. I rarely spend time in public without hearing “That’s so Gay!” We can say we accept homosexuality in our society, but when certain posters, even in these groups, want to insult someone, they state that they are taking it up the ass or riding cock. Josh Hader is not an outlier when it comes to homophobic behavior, sadly, he is in the mainstream, and we all have to work together to stop it.
The people most to blame for this incident were portrayed as victims. In the stands, wearing their son’s jerseys were Trish and Tom Hader, who, according to Heavy.com, shelled out more the $4,000 in ticket money for their son’s first big league game, and revel in their son’s success. When news of the tweets surfaced, they literally turned coat and put on generic jerseys. Yes, it was for their protection from rabid baseball fans who paid $300.00 to see the game and posed no threat to anyone. I am sure, when their son was being celebrated during his career, they were more than happy to share in their son’s admiration. How quickly they changed at the first sign of trouble.
They should have kept wearing their son’s jerseys, firstly because parents stick by their children when they are in trouble and don’t pretend he’s just someone they saw pitch a couple of times, and secondly because when Hader first published those tweets he was a 17-year-old child and every parent with an offspring that age should be monitoring their son’s social media postings and teaching them what should and should not be posted. But they were too busy reveling in having a son who was the best player in town than being a parent.
I am not blaming them for what a 24-year-old man did but for what a 17-year-old boy did on their watch. Josh Hader has said he was wrong and is standing in the fire his parents ran from All-Star night. They should have stood in the fire. It was because of their inactions that it was lit.
ICYMI: AVIDBOSTON PODCAST EPISODE 64!
RODRIGUEZ INJURED! DOES BOSTON MAKE A TRADE? OR ACQUIRE ANOTHER BULLPEN ARM? MANNY MACHADO/BRAD HAND TRADED! JOSH HADER RACIST TWEET CONTROVERSY!