Longtime umpire Rob Drake apologized on Thursday for a tweet he wrote about buying an assault rifle amid the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.
In a tweet posted and deleted on Tuesday, Drake wrote that he planned to buy an AR-15 "because if you impeach MY PRESIDENT this way, YOU WILL HAVE ANOTHER CIVAL WAR!!! #MAGA2020."
In light of the league's investigation into the comments, Drake apologized in a string of tweets on Thursday.
"I want to personally apologize to everyone that my words made feel less safe. I especially want to apologize to every person who has been affected by gun violence in our country," he wrote. "I also acknowledge and apologize for the controversy this has brought to Major League Baseball. Also, my fellow umpires, and my family. I never intended to diminish the threat of violence from assault weapons, or violence of any kind.
"I’m going to learn from this," Drake added. "Once I read what I had tweeted I realized the violence in those words and have since deleted it. I know that I cannot unsay the words, but please accept my apologies. Sincerely, Rob Drake."
The Major League Baseball Umpires Association released a statement on its Facebook page acknowledging Drake's tweet.
"Rob is a passionate individual and an outstanding umpire. He chose the wrong way to convey his opinion about our great country. His posting does not represent the view of the MLBUA or reflect those of the umpires we represent," the statement read. "The MLBUA supports all of the umpires who ensure fair play in the greatest game on earth. We are a group of individuals with diverse opinions and beliefs, united in our desire to continue our excellence officiating MLB games."
Drake, 50, became a full-time umpire in 2010 after making his major league debut in 1999. He worked postseason games in 2010 and 2012-2015.