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.

The Washington Nationals’ Trea Turner apologized publicly Tuesday for his past offensive tweets. (AP Photo)

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. 

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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