Los Angeles Angels fans were stunned Saturday after a bombshell report from ESPN's Outside the Lines detailed how late pitcher Tyler Skaggs allegedly received oxycodone before his death and how other players may be involved.
The story notes that Eric Kay, the Angels' director of communications, told U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents that he provided the drug to Skaggs and abused it with him for years. He also noted that there are possibly up to 5 Angels players abusing opiates while with the team. Kay also alleges that the team was aware of the drug use.
Kay told DEA agents that he reportedly watched Skaggs snort three lines of crushed oxycodone in front of him according to ESPN, and that one of the lines was a drug he did not recognize. Skaggs was found dead in his Texas hotel room back in July, later revealed to be the result of an overdose stemming from a combo of alcohol, oxycodone and Fentanyl. The loss shocked the fan base and stunned the team right at the MLB All-Star break, but reactions have morphed as information continues to trickle out.
"At the end of the day, the responsibility lies at the feet of Tyler Skaggs," one fan wrote on social media. "He wasn't forced to use drugs. He chose to. I would bet his family and friends knew but they enabled him. Why? Who else was gonna pay those bills?"
Man this is such a sad report. I agree w/ most of the comments, though...nobody “forced” Skaggs to do the drugs, but he might not have known they were laced w/ fentanyl. Either way I relate. It’s an addiction. It’s an epidemic. It destroys lives. Im praying for his family 🙏🏼— Mike W (@Hollywood_333W) October 12, 2019
"Damn they would cover this up and bring it up after their season," another wrote about the report. "This [story] needs to be said."
Heartbreaking story. This makes me just as sad as his passing did. This never should have happened and should be thoroughly looked into. Somebody should have gotten him help 💔😥— Knuckleball Lady (@KnuckleballLady) October 12, 2019
"Hate to be the bearer of bad news to those in the comments, but the fact Tyler had an addiction doesn’t make him any less of a person or mean he shouldn’t be mourned like he has been," a third added in support of Skaggs. "Only blame here is possibly on the Angels if they knew and turned a blind eye."
In the wake of Skaggs' death, three separate investigations were opened to discover what led to the overdose for the young star. His family released a statement following the ESPN report went live according to PEOPLE.
"The Skaggs family continues to mourn the loss of a beloved son, brother, husband, and son-in-law. They greatly appreciate the work that law enforcement is doing, and are patiently awaiting the results of the investigation," the statement said.