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Yankees’ Sonny Gray explains potentially offensive tweet

Gray’s tweet from 2012 could be seen as racist, but the righthander says it was an inside joke with a close friend.

Yankees pitcher Sonny Gray reacts on the mound

Yankees pitcher Sonny Gray reacts on the mound during the third inning against the Orioles at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday. Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

Sonny Gray’s awful day apparently extended to social media.

As the Yankees righthander was struggling through a 7-5 loss to the Orioles on Wednesday, his Twitter account briefly went private. After the account again became available to the public, it appeared that what could be interpreted as a racist tweet had been deleted.

Gray explained the potentially offensive tweet, from 2012, when he was a minor-leaguer in the Oakland Athletics’ system, as an inside joke with a close friend.

“I’m not sure,” when asked whether he had taken his Twitter account private. “I’ve had a lot of issues with that. I’m not even in control of that.”

Gray’s Twitter account has not been updated since Jan. 8, 2013.

Gray was forced to explain his Twitter habits while also being bombarded with postgame questions about possibly losing his spot in the rotation and why he was seen smiling as he walked off the mound to boos in the third inning.

Gray becomes the fourth major leaguer under Twitter scrutiny in the past several weeks.

Brewers reliever Josh Hader, Braves starter Sean Newcomb and Nationals shortstop Trea Turner all have been forced to answer for past tweets that could be deemed offensive.

A second tweet also apparently was deleted from Gray’s account on Wednesday, this one from 2009, when he appeared to mock Red Sox Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez for walking off the mound smiling after getting knocked out of a game at Yankee Stadium.

“You have to be really good to get all of Yankee stadium to boo you as you’re walking off the mound . . . and a hall of famer to smile about it,” Gray tweeted.

Ironically, that’s exactly what Gray was being questioned about on Wednesday.

Gray defended his integrity after the game, though not in direct response to his Twitter account. Instead, he was asked whether he thought smiling as he came off the mound after such a poor outing might send a bad message.

“You can ask the 24 other guys in this clubhouse who I am, what kind of person I am, what I’m about,” Gray said. “I’m not worried about that at all.”

New York Sports