USA Today reporter Bob Nightengale racked up hundreds of angry replies on a now-deleted tweet he sent out Wednesday night that some interpreted as offensive toward first-round Cubs draft pick Ed Howard.
Nightengale, a veteran of the MLB beat, wrote: “The #Cubs draft Ed Howard, yes, showing action instead of hallow words.”
The Cubs have been vocal leaders in support of the Black Lives Matter among MLB teams during a nationwide upwelling in anger over police brutality. Howard is black and outspoken about the need for baseball to revive its pipeline of black athletes.
Many people, then, viewed Nightengale’s tweet as a suggestion the Cubs selected Howard because of his race. He left the post online for hours before deleting it without explanation.
Below is a screenshot of the post:
MORE: 2020 MLB Draft tracker
Howard, picked No. 16 by the Cubs in the 2020 MLB Draft, is a high school shortstop from Illinois.
While Chicago once appeared set in the middle infield for years to come, trades and lackluster performance beyond Javier Baez leaves a hole for a franchise-changing player to make a difference. As a high school grad, though, it might take a number of years for him to reach the big leagues.
Below is a selection of responses to Nightengale’s tweet:
Bro delete this lol
— henry von thaden (@redsoxnstuff) June 11, 2020
convinced bob nightengale is an algorithm unleashed on twitter as a social experiment
— steve (@sschreiber13) June 11, 2020