The Red Sox are doing damage control following homophobic tweets from pitcher Matt Dermody, who started Boston’s game Thursday against the Guardians.
Dermody, 32, posted a tweet in June 2021 – when he was a member of the Saitama Seibu Lions in Japan – denouncing homosexuality as a sin in the name of his Christian faith.
“#PrideMonth. Gay people will not inherit the kingdom of God. They will go to hell. This is not my opinion, this is the #Truth. Read 1 Corinthians 6:9. May we all search our hearts, ask Jesus to forgive us and repent of our sins. I love you all in Jesus Christ! the tweet read.
Dermody later deleted the tweet, which is why the Red Sox say they didn’t see him until the team signed him in January.
But with the pitcher making his first start Thursday night, Boston team president Chaim Bloom said it was “important” they had a conversation before he did.
“It’s important to us that he took down the tweet and why he did,” Bloom told MassLive. “I spoke to him about it personally and what he told me was that it really came down to two things. One, he didn’t realize his words would be hurtful and he didn’t want to hurt anyone. and when he realized they were, he deleted (the message).
“He also understood that this was not the right use of his platform. He knows he made a mistake tweeting that. That’s why he took it down. Of course, that doesn’t mean we agree with everything he said or everything he believes. But the fact is that if we are committed to creating an (inclusive) environment, it is not right for us to control what people believe.
“We should expect everyone here to be committed to creating an inclusive and safe environment and therefore understand why he deleted the tweet and his words were hurtful, and knowing that he doesn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings and that he believes in a safe environment, was important here.
Some fans were still unhappy with the team’s decision to cast Dermody in the game, calling him underage for his first start of the year.
He ended up losing to the Guardians, pitching four innings and allowing three runs, all on two Jose Ramirez home runs.
After the match, Dermody spoke to the media about the tweet.
“I regret the tweet in the sense that it came out hurtful and it hurt a lot of people,” he said. according to the Boston Globe. “That’s the last thing I want to do is hurt people. A lot of people think I’m against a certain group of people or whatever. But I’m for everyone who gets to heaven.
The Red Sox also released a statement to MassLive, which read, in part, “Matt, along with all of our minor leaguers, completed our mandatory anti-discrimination and harassment prevention training in March. We cannot dictate the religious beliefs or political opinions of our players and employees, but we do require that they treat the people in our organization and at our stadium with respect and professionalism.
Boston designated Dermody for assignment after the game ended.
The timing for the Red Sox wasn’t ideal, as June is Pride Month – and Major League Baseball has already dealt with a number of other controversies over that.
Dodgers scheduled, then canceled on, SO again reprogrammed a group called the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a queer and trans group that uses religious imagery and mocks Catholicism to draw attention to sexual intolerance.
A number of players have spoken out against the Dodgers for scheduling them, citing their own Christian beliefs – including Clayton Kershaw and former Met Trevor Williams.
Blue Jays pitcher Anthony Bass also shared an Instagram post urging his followers to boycott Target and Bud Light for their pro-LGBTQ+ campaigns – and in another highly unpopular move, the team decided that Bass would throw the first pitch of their Pride Night.