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Sean Newcomb meets with teammates, apologizes again for offensive tweets

Sean Newcomb met with the media Monday to again address offensive tweets that surfaced Sunday afternoon.

After throwing 8-2/3 hitless innings, a series of racist, sexist and anti-gay tweets from 2011 and 2012 were exposed from his Twitter account. Newcomb made an apologetic statement after the game, calling reporters back to the clubhouse long after they had left, and reiterated such Monday.

“I just really want to apologize,” Newcomb said. “I know it was hurtful. I didn’t want to offend anybody. Like I said before, that’s not a testament to who I am.”

Newcomb met with teammates and coaches Monday. He said he hopes the meeting lessened the possibility of further distractions.

Several of Newcomb’s teammates have come to his defense. Ender Inciarte explained on Twitter that Newcomb’s age at the time (roughly 18) played a part. He elaborated on his perspective prior to Monday’s game against the Marlins.

“Some people might see this differently, but for me, to see something that happened so long ago, you know he wasn’t even a grown man back then,” Inciarte said. “He can say a lot of stuff he’d regret, but when that happened so long ago, he’s probably not realizing the stuff he’s saying until now. When you see him talking to us, apologizing, we’re OK. We know what kind of person he is.

“He’s a role model in this organization. If you get to know the guy, he makes so much good impact on everybody that we’re not going to do anything but support him.”

Newcomb became aware of the tweets when he checked his phone after the game. He immediately wanted to address the media so it didn’t linger over night.

In an effort to find ways to connect with the community and those offended, Newcomb spoke with the Braves, MLB and the league’s ambassador of inclusion, Billy Bean, who he plans to meet with when the team goes to New York later this week.

“That doesn’t directly reflect who he is,” said shortstop Dansby Swanson, who said his teammates understood where Newcomb was coming from in their meeting. “You can tell he’s sorry for what he said. In this day and age, you have to be careful about what you say. You never really understand how it can affect other people. That’s a big life lesson.”

Newcomb said he didn’t recall sending the specific tweets, but recounted he was a senior in high school when they occurred. He was advised to get rid of his Twitter account.

Braves manager Brian Snitker hadn’t experienced anything similar to this before. He admitted he’s still processing it, but he spoke with Newcomb and doesn’t expect any lingering effects in the clubhouse.

“You don’t condone anything like that,” Snitker said. “Things that happen, you have to be accountable for. The Sean Newcomb I know, and the Sean Newcomb that’s part of our family here is not that guy. We’ll all support him. It’s a close-knit, family-type situation in there. These guys pull for each other. They’ve got each other’s back. I think the Sean Newcomb we all know, and the Sean Newcomb we all love here, isn’t that guy.”

The findings continued a trend of old offensive tweets coming to light. Brewers reliever Josh Hader had to address a similar situation following the All-Star Game in Washington earlier this month. Nationals shortstop Trea Turner had to apologize for discovered tweets Sunday night.