Cleveland Indians pitcher Nick Wittgren wants people to know the vitriol athletes receive after a poor performance. Wittgren posted pictures of death threats he and his family received following a bad outing during Friday's 10-5 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays.
Wittgren posted a tweet featuring three screenshots. The messages — which contain anti-gay language and violent threats — appear to be sent by two different fans.
Wittgren's tweet read:
"Thank you for all of the kind messages. Sadly this is considered “normal” in professional sports. It’s happened to 90% of players I know and basically after every bad outing a player has. But there is nothing normal about threatening someone and their families lives."
You can read the screenshots, but be warned that they contain reprehensible language.
In the tweets, a fan threatened to come to Wittgren's house and kill his entire family. Some of that fan's comments were made on a picture of Wittgren with his infant son. Another fan tossed anti-gay slurs at Wittgren and made threats toward Wittgren's family.
Wittgren was charged with the loss during Friday's contest against the Rays. With the game tied 4-4, Wittgren came on in the ninth inning and gave up 5 runs in 1/3 of an inning.
Cleveland players have dealt with awful messages in 2021
Wittgren is not the first Cleveland player to post heinous messages received following a bad game. Infielder Yu Chang shared racist messages he received after making a game-deciding error in April.
Chang said he accepts all comments, but "racist comments are not necessary."
The messages to Wittgren came the same day the team announced it would change its name to the Cleveland Guardians in 2022.
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