New York Yankees pitcher Nestor Cortes Jr. stepped over the cultural line in high school, and the tweets that displayed an early Twitter offensiveness came back to haunt him.
On Sunday, someone on Twitter retweeted a barrage of old tweets where Cortes posted the word n***a more than a dozen times. The now 27-year-old apologized for the tweets he posted almost a decade ago. He promptly deactivated his account, but was active again by Tuesday evening.
Cortes admitted that he was “pissed” with himself and “shocked” when the tweets resurfaced after starting against the White Sox in the Windy City.
“I Deleted My Twitter”
“Those aren’t the messages I want to send out,” Cortes said to The New York Post on Monday before the Yankees faced the Orioles at Camden Yards. “I deleted my Twitter [account] to clean stuff up. Hopefully I can make a better impact in the world for the people that look up to me to give a better example.”
It raises the age-old question of who is allowed to use racially-charged words co-opted as terms of endearment in street culture.
Cortes is a Cuban-American that grew up in the city of Hialeah in the Miami-Dade County, Florida area. The city also boasts one of the highest percentages of Cuban and Cuban -merican residents of any city in the United States.
The Gray Zone
With most of his tweets coming from a street colloquial, conversational stance instead of racially charged intent, Cortes now lives in the gray area where street culture finds its nouveau riche adherents.
The same has happened to Latino rap artists like Fat Joe, whose Bronx upbringing is not factored in now that he services the bigger pop culture audience he currently serves.
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