Jerome Williams brushes off racial epithet

Jerome Williams brushes off racial epithet

Published Jun. 13, 2012 7:57 p.m. ET

Losing Tuesday night’s game on consecutive eighth-inning pitches that resulted in a score-tying single and a three-run home run was tough enough for Angels pitcher Jerome Williams to absorb. Adding salt to the wound afterward was a racial epithet from a follower on Williams’ Twitter account.

“You’ve got some ignorant people out there,” Williams said. “I went through so much stuff like that when I was growing up -- it doesn’t bother me any more. It did kind of tick me off, and when I was younger, I used to lash out, wanting to fight every time. Now, knowing what’s going on, I won’t lash out. Just be the bigger man and walk away.”

Williams, who said he has heard racial epithets before, blocked the follower from his account. Several teammates, including reliever LaTroy Hawkins and catcher Bobby Wilson, came to Williams’ defense on Twitter.

“There’s nothing you can do -- just retweet it and let our followers get at him,” Hawkins said. “It’s unfortunate. It’s happened to me before, but I won’t let idiots, racist pigs, ruin my time on Twitter. There are a lot of great fans who enjoy interacting with players, but you always have one kamikaze.”

--Mike DiGiovanna