NEW YORK (AP) — The picture Matt Harvey tweeted of himself making an obscene gesture on his way into surgery caused such a stir that the injured New York Mets ace shut down his Twitter account.
Harvey confirmed he posted a photo Tuesday morning that showed him raising the middle finger on his left hand as he was about to undergo Tommy John surgery exactly six months ago. Harvey said his mother took the picture and he posted it on Twitter because he was excited to mark the milestone and wanted to have a little fun.
"I guess that was how I felt going into surgery, realizing that it was going to be a pretty long process ahead of me. So it was all fun and games," Harvey said in the dugout before the Mets played the St. Louis Cardinals. "I guess that was my way of saying that I was going to try and beat the process."
The pitcher said he won't apologize for simply showing the playful side of his personality.
"I'm not going to apologize for being myself and, you know, having a good laugh at a funny little picture," he said. "But I've kind of had enough with Twitter and I guess not being able to show your personal side, and I'll keep those pictures to myself."
The photo generated plenty of attention online, and the Mets said they asked Harvey to take it down because they deemed it inappropriate. Harvey decided to delete his Twitter account entirely.
"Honestly, I didn't think there was anything officially wrong with it," he said. "I know you listen to the radio and you hear a lot of rap music, and (it has) things that are a lot worse than what I was showing — a genuine excitement and a little bit of laughter towards a picture that I was looking at this morning. But I guess to stop the controversy deleting the Twitter was an easy out of not worrying about it anymore."