Jerome Williams responds to tweet
LOS ANGELES -- A member of the Los Angeles Angels has gotten into another verbal spat on Twitter, but this one has uglier overtones.
A person who goes by the Twitter handle jgraae007 sent Angels pitcher Jerome Williams a message that contained a racial epithet after the right-hander took the 5-2 loss Tuesday night against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Williams and Angels pitcher LaTroy Hawkins responded by tweeting personal information about the person who owns the account they dug up on the Internet.
"The message that was sent to me was uncalled for," Williams tweeted. "And I want people to know who the guy is."
Williams said Wednesday there isn't much he can do other than block the person's Twitter account. He said he has heard racial slurs in the past, including several times when someone called him at the team hotel, yelled them and hung up.
The tweet Tuesday night insulted Williams' appearance and used an inflammatory word used to describe African-Americans. "I went through so much stuff like that when I was growing up, it doesn't bother me any more," Williams said before Wednesday night's game against the Dodgers. "It did kind of tick me off, but like I said, when I was younger I used to lash out, wanting to fight every time. Now, knowing what's going on, I won't lash out, just be the bigger man and walk away."
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Williams grew up in a racially diverse part of Hawaii and said he often endured comments about his ethnicity. He said he was one of five black students at Waipahu High in Honolulu.
Hawkins said he, too, has received racist tweets.
Williams, who tweets under the handle pinkpuka57, had 4,393 followers as of Wednesday night. Hawkins tweets as LaTroyHawkins32 and had 13,407.
"I won't let racist pigs ruin my time on Twitter," Hawkins said. "There are a lot of great fans who enjoy interacting with players, but you've always got one kamikaze."
In spring training, Angels pitcher C.J. Wilson got into a verbal back-and-forth with Texas Rangers slugger Mike Napoli after Wilson tweeted Napoli's cellphone number. Wilson was responding to comments Napoli made that he was going to try to take his former teammate deep.