As the Texas Rangers try to clinch the AL West championship and home field advantage in the playoffs, they’re dealing with a distraction caused by a homophobic tweet sent from starting pitcher Derek Holland’s Twitter account on Sunday.
The tweet from Holland’s account, shown above, said “ur a fag” and was sent in response to someone who said: “7 runs in 6-2/3. Horrible! But hey at least you’ve got that really good impression of Harry Caray. You’re a waste of space.”
Holland denied sending the tweet and said he was either on the mound or in the dugout during Sunday’s game against the Angels when the tweet was sent. He said the only other person who has access to his account is his fiancee. From the Associated Press:
“I honestly don’t know. I know it wasn’t myself,” Holland said. “I’ve talked to my family and my fiancee and they all said the exact same thing: It wasn’t them. I have no idea. All I know is MLB is taking care of it and they’re going to help me out and figure out who it was. I was blindsided by it. I had no idea.”
Rangers [general manager Jon] Daniels called it a “serious issue, it’s an unacceptable term to use.”
“We found out shortly thereafter. Obviously we take something like that very seriously,” Daniels said. “It’s not a term or a sentiment we endorse in any way. We asked Derek about it. He was not aware of it happening. He had been out during the game. We alerted MLB about it so while we’re doing our own investigation they can do one as well. We continue to follow up on that at this time. Derek says he didn’t do it. He’s not sure how it got out, obviously. That’s what we’re looking into.
“I don’t know if he was on the mound or on the bench. He was in a spot you wouldn’t think it would be possible.”
Major League Baseball reportedly is investigating the homophobic tweet. The Toronto Blue Jays recently suspended shortstop Yunel Escobar for three games for wearing eye-black displaying a homophobic slur in Spanish.
It’s good to see Daniels calling this incident “serious” and acknowledging that “fag” is an “unacceptable term,” but it’s a little disappointing that Holland, in his denial, didn’t specifically condemn the use of the slur.
It’s also worth nothing that John Blake, the Rangers executive vice president for communications, told Instant Tea last year that the club would consider filming an “It Gets Better” video, but they never did so.