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Red Sox Release Minor League Player For Tweets Deemed Homophobic, Anti-Semitic

Brett Netzer has not played for the organization since 2017

The Boston Red Sox released a minor league player who posted a series of offensive tweets over the weekend.

Brett Netzer requested to be released from the team on Feb. 26. 

Netzer posted several tweets on Feb. 25 and Feb. 26 criticizing Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom. Netzer called Bloom a “bad actor” and a “fraud” and allegedly attacked his Jewish identity.

The player has disagreed with this accusation and had argued he was attacking Bloom’s character, not his religion. 

Chad Jennings, a reporter for The Athletics, first broke the news of Netzer’s separation from the Red Sox organization on Feb. 26. The player then responded to Jennings on Twitter, acknowledging his remarks.

“I am a racist. I do sometimes make assumptions based on a persons race/ethnicity/culture. Glad that is out of the way,” Netzer wrote at one point on Twitter.

He went on to defend his willingness to be labeled a racist.

Other controversial tweets included Netzer’s suggestions that black people should “go back to their roots and start to re-establish their true black culture”,  as well as a comparison of closeted transgender people to rapists.

The 25-year-old was selected in the third round of the 2017 draft. He has not played since 2019 after the 2020 minor league season was canceled due to COVID-19. 

Netzer “was placed on the restricted list of the Portland Sea Dogs, the Double-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, on May 4, 2021 for undisclosed reasons,” per NBC News.

Before his time in the minor league, the South Carolina native attended the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.

The Boston Globe confirmed the report of Netzker’s release on Feb. 28.

The Anti-Defamation League praised the Red Sox for releasing Netzer for his comments.

Hateful speech must be called out, whether on or off the field,” the ADL said in a statement on Twitter.

Red Sox minor leaguer Brandon Celluci also took to Twitter to denounced Netzker’s comments.

“It’s safe to say Red Sox fans have been shocked by the comments of a former player,” wrote Celluci. “I don’t speak for the organization, however I will say that player’s comments don’t reflect the reputation and standard we uphold. Our organization promotes respect and love for all, period.”

Despite the controversy, Netzer has remained active on Twitter. He advised his followers to invest in Bitcoin on Feb. 28.

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