A Taiwan-born MLB baseball player received hateful messages on social media after committing an error during his team’s loss to the Chicago White Sox on Monday.
Infielder Yu Chang, 25, who plays for the Cleveland Indians, asked baseball fans for tolerance on his Twitter account on Tuesday as he shared racist tweets directed at him by baseball fans.
“Exercise your freedom of speech in a right way, I accept all comments, positive or negative but DEFINITELY NOT RACIST ONES,” Chang noted. “Thank you all and love you all.”
The anti-Asian messages included references to COVID-19 and insults on his appearance.
“You f***in sars corona virus mother f***er,” one of the racist messages read.
Chang was berated due to a throwing error that resulted in pinch runner Nick Madrigal scoring the winning run for the White Sox, reports the Guardian.
The error was made during the ninth inning of the game, with the teams tied at 3-3. With two White Sox runners on base, Chang fielded a ground ball in an attempt to get the force-out at second. However, Chang’s ball hit opponent Yasmani Grandal in the helmet and ricocheted toward the left-field line, giving Madrigal the opportunity to score.
Chang is a natural shortstop and is new to first base this season. He was signed on as a free agent with the team in 2013, according to the LA Times.
After sharing the abusive posts on social media, Chang received positive messages of support from Indians fans and others online.
“I am so sorry, Yu,” one fan noted. “These people aren’t Cleveland fans. Hell, I wouldn’t even call them ‘people’… Just trash. You just keep being Yu… Shake off the error and the haters. We all know you’ll have a great game tonight!”
“Sorry some people are jerks,” shared one fan. “Nothing warrants those racist comments. As for baseball, you made a fine play to start the crucial 3-6-1 in Cal’s inning and caught an unlucky break in the 9th. It happens. You’ve adjusted to 1B well. Keep at it. Real fans are rooting for you.”
Terry Francona, manager for the Cleveland Indians, met with Chang before the team’s Tuesday game following their loss against the White Sox, reported ESPN
“First, I wanted to make sure he was OK and that he understands the lunacy or the idiocy that was said is not shared by hopefully very many people, certainly not in the Indians’ organization,” he said.