Cleveland Indians infielder Yu Chang shared on Twitter that he received racist social media messages after his decisive throwing error in Cleveland's loss Monday to the White Sox.
"Exercise your freedom of speech in a right way, I accept all comments, positive or negative but DEFINITELY NOT RACIST ONES," Chang, a native of Taiwan, tweeted early Tuesday morning. "Thank you all and love you all. #StopAsianHate."
Chang's tweet included a screenshot of racist, anti-Asian social media messages he purportedly received from three different users. Two of the accounts no longer existed as of Tuesday morning, and the third is private.
Cleveland lost 4-3 on Monday night when Chang, who was playing first base, hit Chicago's Yasmani Grandal in the helmet with a throw while trying to force him at second base rather than step on first base for the second out in the ninth inning. The error allowed Nick Madrigal to score the winning run.
Indians manager Terry Francona texted with Chang earlier in the day, and then met with him along with the player's interpreter before Tuesday's game at Guaranteed Rate Field.
"First, I wanted to make sure he was OK and that he understands the lunacy or the idiocy that was said is not shared by hopefully very many people, certainly not in the Indians' organization," Francona said. "Truth be told, man, it's really simple: errors are part of the game.
"But ignorance and racism, they shouldn't be anywhere. Those comments have nothing to do with baseball. It's just an excuse for somebody to be stupid and ignorant. That's really what it is.''
Chang, 25, has primarily played shortstop and third base throughout his career and had never played first base before this season.
"He's an extremely mature young man and he's fine,'' Francona said of Chang.
Chang was not in the lineup on Tuesday night, but Francona said Jake Bauers playing first had nothing to do with the error.
"I can promise you we will never make a lineup out from somebody's tweet the night before,'' Francona said.
Chang flied out as a pinch-hitter Tuesday night in the Indians' 2-0 win in 10 innings. There was no noticeable reaction from the socially distanced crowd when he batted.
According to a recent report from the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, hate crimes against Asian Americans have risen nearly 150% in major U.S. cities over the past year.
The #StopAsianHate movement gained national attention last month after a white man killed eight people -- including six people of Asian descent -- in a series of shootings at Atlanta-area spas.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.