Toronto Blue Jays pitcher hailed for going after fat-shaming jerk on Twitter
He's tough, he's talented, and he's got the skills worthy of an ace starter, but Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Alek Manoah isn't being lauded around the web today for his athletic abilities (at least not entirely.)
Rather, the 24-year-old Florida native is the toast of Twitter right now for defending a teammate against the unprompted insults of some dude who thinks that baseball players should look a certain way.
Alek Manoah made that guy delete his account. He should win the Cy Young for that alone.— Kristie (@nairnsy27) September 15, 2022
The dramatic series of digital events started Wednesday evening when 23-year-old catcher and designated hitter Alejandro Kirk dashed around the bases at Toronto's Rogers Centre, all the way from first to home, scoring on behalf of his team.
Fans were delighted by the run and Kirk's hustle, so much so that the Toronto Blue Jays organization itself tweeted out video footage from the play, writing "We would run through a wall for Captain @alejandro_kirk."
A Twitter user out of Quebec whose account (@matthewwords) has now been deleted weighed in with some thoughts that others found to be mean-spirited (and, for the record, he wasn't the only one suggesting that Kirk was too portly to play.)
"Imagine how much better he'd be if he were in shape," tweeted an account belonging at the time to someone named Matthew Ross.
"It's cute and all, but it's also embarrassing for the sport," the Twitter user continued in another post, sharing the Blue Jays' tweet of Kirk running. "Giving guys like this prominence feeds negative baseball stereotypes."
Fans perceived the comments as insulting, accusing @matthewwords of fat-shaming Kirk, who joined Toronto's MLB team from his native Mexico in 2020.
Manoah, who himself played a solid game despite being up all night the day previous with a stomach bug, was not having any of the Twitter troll's gobbledygook.
"What's actually embarrassing for the sport is people that go by the name of Matthew and have never played a day in the big leagues thinking they can control the narrative and stereotypes. Go ahead and tell that 8 year old kid who is 10lbs over weight that he should quit now," wrote Manoah, retweeting @matthewwords' comment.
"Just step aside from the keyboard and let KIRK inspire those kids to continue to chase their dreams and chase greatness."
The Twitter user who'd caught the ire of Jays nation attempted to justify himself, denying that he had fat-shamed Kirk and retweeting Manoah's comments to write: "When a pro baseball player takes your words & twists them to suit his simple, defaming narrative of you."
Guy's backpeddling hard. Everyone knows what he was saying without using the word "fat" - he isnt fooling anyone. What a loser.— B. Sampson (@B_Landry23) September 15, 2022
It would appear as though he was too late. His comments did nothing to stop the torrent of hate heading his way, serving only to intensify the anger to the point where @matthewwords has now deleted both his Twitter and Instagram accounts.
Thems are the breaks on Twitter, but several rays of hope have emerged in the wake of all this frenzied fighting over fat-shaming.
Thank you for this. My 8 year old is a little overweight and loves baseball. However this year he was very skeptical to play because he was worried that the other kids will make fun of him. We live in Texas but he loves the Bluejays and Kirk is his favorite player. pic.twitter.com/JmwsyA3481— Chris (@Blu_5tingray) September 15, 2022
"What a guy LOOKS like is immaterial; it's what a guy PLAYS like that counts," wrote one fan in response to the viral Twitter kerfuffle.
"And Kirk plays hard every time he’s in the game. He gives his best—which is damned good — good baseball, good entertainment. It's pretty fun to watch an expert play his game well."
"Kirk is not the fastest guy in the world yet he was putting it all out there going as fast as he possibly could to score a run. What part of that is embarrassing?" wrote another.
"It's awesome to see someone like him hustling as hard as he can take the extra 90 feet and go home instead of 3rd."
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