An American baseball star has apologised for making several homophobic and racist tweets.
Michael Kopech, a pitcher for the Chicago White Sox, acknowledged that he has now deleted tweets from 2013 when he was 17 that called people "f*gs", called someone "gay", insulted Mexicans and used a derivative of the N-word.
Speaking to the Chicago Sun-Times, the 22-year-old admitted he had deleted the tweets, saying: "Yeah, I had to delete some stuff.
"Things I said that were immature and inappropriate. I used some poor language in there. Obviously, I'm trying to be looked at as a role model, and the last thing I want to do is have some kid look at what I'm saying and take it the wrong way. It's unfortunate that I was ever at that point mentally, but it's not who I am now."
He continued: "Yeah, I cleaned some tweets up and tried to get rid of them. But, obviously, people saw them. It's not who I am now, and it's not who I want to be. It was something I did in high school, and with everything I've gone through in pro ball the last five seasons, I feel like a big part of my career was maturing."
Kopech added: "Hate to see it, but it's not who I am anymore."
Meanwhile, Rick Hahn, the White Sox's manager, said in a statement: "Michael has been very upfront about his tweets from high school several years ago. He has taken responsibility and apologised for his offensive and inappropriate word choices at the time, but has stressed that those careless words do not reflect who he is today."
He added: "It is certainly true they don't reflect the young man we know as a maturing, growing and developing members of our organisation."
The news comes after baseball players Sean Newcomb and Trea Turner also apologised for offensive tweets.