Baseball star apologises for sending tweets calling people ‘gay,’ ‘fags’ and ‘n****’

CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 21: Michael Kopech #34 of the Chicago White Sox pitches against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning in his MLB debut game at Guaranteed Rate Field on August 21, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)

A baseball star has admitted being forced to delete tweets with anti-gay and racist slurs.

​​Michael Kopech, a pitcher who made his Major League Baseball debut this week for the Chicago White Sox, called people “gay,” “n****” and “a Mexican rapist version of Super Mario” in the posts.

The 22-year-old has become the latest in a series of baseball players exposed for their offensive posts, including Sean Newcomb and Trea Turner, who apologised last month for sending anti-gay and racist tweets.

“They’re gay!!” (MichaelKopech5/twitter)

Kopech, who was 16 and 17 when he sent the tweets, also created an untagged post in which he asked: “Were you calling us fags?”

Speaking to the Chicago Sun-Times, he condemned his past posts, saying: “Yeah, I had to delete some stuff.

“Things I said that were immature and inappropriate. I used some poor language in there.

Kopech has since deleted the tweets (MichaelKopech5/twitter)

“Obviously, I’m trying to be looked at as a role model, and the last thing I want to do is have some kid look at what I’m saying and take it the wrong way.”

He continued: “It’s unfortunate that I was ever at that point mentally, but it’s not who I am now.

“Yeah, I cleaned some tweets up and tried to get rid of them. But, obviously, people saw them. It’s not who I am now, and it’s not who I want to be.

CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 21: Michael Kopech #34 of the Chicago White Sox smiles while sitting in the dugout before the game against the Minnesota Twins at Guaranteed Rate Field on August 21, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)

Kopech was 16 and 17 when he sent the tweets in 2013 (Jon Durr/Getty)

“It was something I did in high school, and with everything I’ve gone through in pro ball the last five seasons, I feel like a big part of my career was maturing. Hate to see it, but it’s not who I am anymore.”

His team’s general manager, Rick Hahn, said: “Michael has been very upfront about his tweets from high school several years ago.

“He has taken responsibility and apologised for his offensive and inappropriate word choices at the time, but has stressed that those careless words do not reflect who he is today.

The player has apologised for the posts (MichaelKopech5/twitter)

“It is certainly true they don’t reflect the young man we know as a maturing, growing and developing member of our organisation.”

Kopech is in a relationship with Vanessa Morgan, who plays Toni Topaz on The CW’s Riverdale – a fact which has angered many fans who have delighted in Toni’s relationship with fellow bisexual River Vixen Cheryl Blossom.

Cheryl kisses Toni (netflix)

Earlier this week, Texas Wesleyan University’s football coach Kyle Cox – who warned students not to “let a tweet ruin your chance” – was suspended after his anti-gay and racist tweets were unearthed.

In May, Premier League footballer Shane Duffy sparked outrage with a series of tweets containing anti-gay slurs.

The Brighton and Hove Albion player also attacked TV presenter Rylan Clark-Neal, calling him a “thing” during his stint on X Factor.

BRIGHTON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 02: Lewis Shane Duffy of Brighton & Hove Albion reacts during the Premier League match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Liverpool at Amex Stadium on December 2, 2017 in Brighton, England. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

Shane Duffy (Dan Istitene/Getty)

Fellow footballer Mason Holgate sparked uproar and a Football Association investigation after it was found in January that the Everton full-back had used the words “fag,” “faggotttttttttt,” “a batty” and “battyboy” to refer to other Twitter users.