After letting up a go ahead 3-run homer to Jean Segura, fans took the time to dig through Josh Hader’s twitter account. What they found was not pleasant. Hader has a number of questionable tweets saying he “hates gay people”, using the “n word” and saying “white power, lol”. Ouch.
Hader will face discipline from the league in the form of taking diversity classes and this incident is all over sports media. Shannon Sharpe, the guy who talks about race 95% of the time and sports the other five, spent more time on it than he will on baseball for the rest of the season. Basically, Josh Hader is the new Riley Cooper, which means he is a terrible human being with no redeeming qualities.
Teenagers Say Offensive Things, But Who Cares?
He was a teenager when he sent these tweets, but we all know what came next. Yup, the good old online mob. Torches and pitchforks in hand, self righteous dog profile picture Twitter raked Josh Hader through the coals. He’s a heartless, a bigot, he’s “cancelled” all because of dumb shit he said as a teenager trying to be edgy. Forget about how teenagers are known for saying things to get attention, Josh Hader is a terrible human being who should be judged.
But let’s be real, none of these people complaining are actually offended by these tweets. You don’t see these same mobs up in arms about the numerous athletes accused or convicted of beating their girlfriends/wives to a pulp. The people calling for Hader’s head don’t seem to have any problem with the NFL and it’s astronomically high arrest records. Nope, social media only ever seems to be outraged when certain groups say/do something offensive.
Now is that to say I’m defending Hader’s tweets? Of course not. Plenty of them went way too far and he should have had the common sense to not post that on social media; but what I will always defend against is mob justice. Sorry, but I’m not going to automatically assume that somebody is racist and a terrible person for things they said at age 17. People mature, they change, and their brain fully develops. Not to mention how much “poorly thought out” and Twitter go together.
Does the mob take any of that into consideration? I’ll give you a hint: their minds are made up, they were made up before Josh Hader’s tweets, and they’re just looking for an excuse to wild out. They want to see jobs lost, lives ruined, and reputations burned down not because of a pursuit of “justice”, but out of their own hatred.
When websites like “The Root” freely publish garbage like this on a weekly basis, I have a hard time believing that society really cares about racism. Online twitter mobs only seem to care about racism when it’s coming from certain groups.
Plus, we all know that all the self righteous egg profiles ripping Hader have said/done some questionable things in the past. Everyone looks back at their teenage self and cringes. I mean christ, I’m only 21 and I already do that. Don’t act like you’re holier than thou just because you didn’t tweet something racist when you were 17. We all have embarrassing things we said/did, and anybody who accepts that knows that those overcompensating by tweeting about the evil Josh Hader have skeletons too.
If This Truly Offends You, You’ve Got Issues
What ever happened to “sticks and stones”? How is it healthy for society to be telling everyone that offensive tweets are a reason to throw a temper tantrum? It isn’t, but outrage is weaponized for political gain in this day and age.
Its Josh Hader today, but the mob will have a new target within days (unless your name is Steve Harvey). In fact, I predict that by next Tuesday, a random high school student will have culturally appropriated a traditional Indian dish for a class. Some blue check mark will have a 12 tweet monologue about how offensive it is and dog profile pictures will retweet it by the thousands. Unnecessary apologies that aren’t “good enough” will be made, reputations ruined, and the mob left looking for the next target. Count on it.
Of course, none of this is good for civil society and it only reinforces a divide that has existed for centuries. Too many in this country want to dwell on the past instead of looking at the tremendous strides we’ve made since this country’s racist past. People acting like Josh Hader’s tweets are a big deal know that, they’re just looking for an excuse to rage. There are going to be those with ignorant thoughts, write racist material, and do things you find offensive. No matter what we do its always going to be there, so the best we can do is not feed into it and give all this power to certain words.
Also make no mistake that those like Shannon Sharpe are simply racist themselves. They aren’t interested in coming together, they’d rather bicker over trivial things and keep people divided. If he was truly morally outraged by Hader’s tweets, he’d be campaigning every day for more to be done about the NFL’s arrest rates. He doesn’t care, he’s just a bigot himself and loves to project.
Josh Hader sending racist tweets when he was 17 is far from a huge issue. He apologized, he was disciplined, its over. On to the next outrage cycle.