Cleveland Indians pitcher Nick Wittgren had a rough outing on Friday night, but it was the messages he received from fans afterwards that was truly disgusting and disturbing.
The 30-year-old right-hander posted direct messages he received on social media from fans after he allowed five runs in a loss to the Rays on Friday night, which included death threats to him and his family, as well as homophobic slurs.
“Sadly this is considered ‘normal’ in professional sports,” Wittgren wrote on Twitter. “It’s happened to 90% of players I know and basically after every bad outing a player has. But there is nothing normal about threatening someone and their families’ lives.”
Wittgren shared screenshots of some of the threats.
One read, “I know where you live. I will get you tonight and kill your family. We will see tonight.”
The same user continued to bombard Wittgren with threats, including explicit detail on how the person would kill Wittgren’s family. He made several more threats in the comments on an Instagram picture of him and his children.
Another user called Wittgren anti-gay slur and wished cancer upon him before threatening to knock him out.
Wittgren’s wife, Ashley, also shared her disgust and horror over the messages on Twitter.
The Indians have contacted law enforcement over the messages and that the team is investigating the threats as well, according to TMZ Sports.
“We continue to work through all available security channels in an ongoing attempt to identify individuals who engage in this type of behavior towards our team members and eliminate future isntances,” and Indians official said. “Abusive and threatening language undermines the aility of social media platforms to create positive, healthy connections.”