Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Wander Franco was placed on the restricted list this week following a series of troubling allegations about him going viral online.
According to various uncorroborated reports, Franco has been accused of dating a 14-year-old girl.
Details on the alleged relationship remain scarce, though there are some lingering questions regarding whether the girl is in fact 14 and whether she has a child.
This week, an odd defense for Franco began to circulate on the web.
Update on Wander Franco situation: pic.twitter.com/Danf1b5Sil
— Juan Carlos Sampson (@SampsonJuan) August 15, 2023
Needless to say, people had some strong reactions to this attempt at explaining Franco’s current issues.
MLB fans took to social media to respond.
Are we pretending 17 & 13 isn’t gross? 🤣
— Kimberly F (@CoreFour1998) August 16, 2023
17 and 13 lol cmon man
— 💸 (@datnewfix) August 16, 2023
Still gross and not ok
— Erica Stash (@stash_erica) August 16, 2023
Yeah, check the pics of them together. He didn’t have the neck tattoos until he was 21.
— Joe Montague (@joesoccer321) August 15, 2023
Over the past 24 hours reports have surfaced that more girls may be linked to this situation, though that too remains uncorroborated as of right now.
BREAKING: According to the Attorney General of the DR, a second potential 8th grader has allegedly come out against Wander Franco. pic.twitter.com/ZSjT9Z26V9
— The Skippers View (@TheSkippersView) August 15, 2023
This is an objectively ugly situation, no matter how it ultimately shakes out.
In a week where lighthearted sports stories like an Arizona State cheerleader’s provocative photos and Paulina Gretzky looking completely different after a haircut dominated the headlines, this Franco ordeal puts a dark cloud over everything.
Franco has been a member of the Rays for three years and is fresh off his first All-Star nod.
The video speaks for itself. https://t.co/5B4kJTB1ju
— Game 7 (@game7__) August 15, 2023
Back in 2021, he signed an 11-year, $182 million contract.
What does the future hold for Franco when everything is said and done? Time will tell.