Cleveland Indians pitcher Nick Wittgren says fans hurled homophobic insults at him and threatened to kill his family after he had a poor outing during a game over the weekend.
The comments that Wittgren says he received after he gave up five earned runs in the Indians’ loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday night were deeply disturbing.
In one of them, Wittgren says a fan wrote to him after Cleveland’s 10-5 loss, “I know where you live. I will get you tonight and kill your family.”
Wittgren says the fan continued, “I will get your home at midnight. I will shot your family and stab your necks.”
The 30-year-old says another fan also called him “f****t” repeatedly.
“Sadly this is considered ‘normal’ in professional sports,” Wittgren said of the vile comments. “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’s wife says she, too, received threats and heinous remarks over Nick’s game … saying in a statement on social media, “Y’all I get it, my husband had a bad day at work.”
“But sending both of us very explicit death threats aimed at him, me, and our children is absolutely inexcusable.”
The Indians say law enforcement has been contacted over the messages … adding the team is investigating the threats as well.
“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 instances,” Indians officials said.
“Abusive and threatening language undermines the ability of social media platforms to create positive, healthy connections.”
Wittgren has yet to pitch since Friday’s game. Cleveland, meanwhile, went on to lose to the Rays again on Saturday night before beating them to close out the series on Sunday.