Jesus Aguilar on Brewers Teammate Josh Hader: 'Obviously He's Not Racist'

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistJuly 18, 2018

MIAMI, FL - JULY 09:  Josh Hader #71 of the Milwaukee Brewers delivers a pitch in the seventh inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on July 9, 2018 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Jesus Aguilar offered support for teammate Josh Hader after his old racist, homophobic and misogynistic tweets were uncovered during the 2018 All-Star Game. 

Aguilar posted a pair of tweets Wednesday saying the content of the offensive tweets isn't a reflection on Hader in the present day:

Jesus Aguilar @JAguilarMKE

First of all I want to show my support to my friend and teammate, Josh Hader. He made a mistake 7 years ago. He admitted, he apologized and most important: He learned from it.

Jesus Aguilar @JAguilarMKE

Regarding accusations of racism: I’m Venezuelan and with the skin color that I have, can tell you that it is a lie. Obviously he’s not racist. He’s a great player and a better person. Great teammate. And you know it

Major League Baseball announced Wednesday that Hader will have to attend sensitivity training and take part in MLB's diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Addressing the situation after the All-Star Game, Hader was apologetic.

"It was something that happened when I was 17 years old," he said, according to For The Win's Ted Berg. "As a child, I was immature. I obviously said some things that weren't excusable. That doesn't reflect on the person I am today.

"There's no excuse for what was said. I'm deeply sorry for what I've said. It doesn't reflect any of my beliefs now."

Brewers center fielder Lorenzo Cain admitted he was "surprised" by the content of his teammate's tweets but didn't want to dwell on them. 

"I was surprised. Whenever somebody does something like that, you're always surprised," he said, per MLB.com's Adam McCalvy. "At the end of the day, you have to give people a second chance. You have to forgive people and move on from it. For me, it's over and done with."

MLB had precedent to potentially suspend Hader.

In September 2016, the Seattle Mariners banned catcher Steve Clevenger (then on the disabled list) without pay for the remainder of the season after he sent racist tweets regarding demonstrators who protested the police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte. 

Houston Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel was also suspended for the first five games of the 2018 campaign after he made an offensive and racist gesture toward Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish during Game 3 of the 2017 World Series.

Likely because the tweets are from six to seven years ago, MLB will allow Hader to continue to pitch for the Brewers, though he could have to deal backlash in the Milwaukee locker room.