CHICAGO (AP) - Chicago White Sox rookie pitcher Michael Kopech has apologized for racist and homophobic tweets he posted as 17-year-old and has since deleted.
The tweets from 2013 surfaced Tuesday as Kopech made his major league debut.
"I had to delete some stuff," Kopech told the Chicago Sun-Times on Thursday. "Things I said that were immature and inappropriate. I used some poor language in there. 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.
"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. 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."
Kopech grew up in Mount Pleasant, Texas, and attended Mount Pleasant High School.
Also recently, years-old racist, misogynistic and homophobic tweets from Milwaukee reliever Josh Hader were found during the All-Star Game. Then, Atlanta pitcher Sean Newcomb and Washington shortstop Trea Turner had their own offensive tweets unearthed.