PITTSBURGH – Jon Lester might have rephrased one tweet to make his intent clearer, he said. But beyond that the Cubs’ All-Star starter stands behind Monday’s Twitter admonition to young players to beware of stupid stuff they might want to tweet – and “better yet, don’t say stupid things in the first place.”
Lester’s Twitter advice, which evolved into a dialogue with fans, was in response to three players in recent days being called out after years-old racist, homophobic and misogynist tweets were unearthed and republished.
“I think we finally kind of got the message [clear] throughout the day,” said Lester, who caught some social media backlash for not explicitly denouncing racism and homophobia.
“Looking back on it and the response, the first maybe could have been worded just a hair differently,” he said. “In no way, shape or form did I want to make those guys out to be a victim of anything.”
Those guys were the Brewers’ Josh Hader, the Nationals’ Trea Turner and the Braves’ Sean Newcomb, all of whom had tweets from their high school years exposed – Turner and Newcomb on Sunday.
Lester, who said he thought the lengthy thread started by his first two tweets ultimately wound up “positive,” spoke strongly about inclusivity Tuesday night after his start against the Pirates.
“I think our game is in a great spot, but when you have things like this, obviously the fans [and non-fans] don’t take too kindly to it,” he said. “We’ll do our job here to make our clubhouse [inclusive] and make everybody feel comfortable and wanted and appreciated.
“And hopefully that’s the same message we can portray across MLB. And the fans that we did lose with some of this stuff, maybe we can gain their trust back.”