Seattle Mariners catcher Steve Clevenger has been suspended without pay for the rest of the season for making offensive remarks about Black Lives Matter protesters.
The team announced it suspended Clevenger, 30, for his social media rant on Thursday night in a statement on Friday.
‘The Mariners have announced that catcher Steve Clevenger has been suspended without pay for the remainder of the season,’ a club statement read.
Seattle has 10 games left in the regular season, and as it stands will miss out on the playoffs.
In his offending tweets, which have since been deleted, the 30-year-old backup addressed the chaos in Charlotte following the death of Keith Lamont Scott, who was shot by a police officer.
Clevenger also took aim at NFL player Colin Kaepernick’s decision to kneel during the national anthem – an action that has been supported by other athletes in multiple sports.
‘Black people beating whites when a thug got shot holding a gun by a black officer haha s*** cracks me up! Keep kneeling for the anthem,’ he wrote.
‘BLM is pathetic once again! Obama you are pathetic once again! Everyone involved should be locked behind bars like animals!’
The Mariners released a statement about Clevenger’s comments, saying they are investigating the incident internally.
‘The Seattle Mariners are very disappointed at the tweets posted on Steve Clevenger’s account,’ the statement read.
‘While he is certainly free to express himself, his tweets do not in any way represent the opinions of the Seattle Mariners. We strongly disagree with the language and tone of his comments.
‘We are currently examining all internal options that are available to us as we determine appropriate next steps.’
Since the controversy, Clevenger has locked his account and made it private.
The catcher also apologized for his remarks in a statement on Facebook, saying they were ‘reactionary’ and ‘poorly worded’.
‘I am sickened by the idea that anyone would think of me in racist terms,’ he said, according to Fox Sports reporter Ken Rosenthal.
‘I am also proud that my inner circle of friends has never been defined by race but by the content of their character.
‘Any former teammate or anyone who has met me can attest to this and I pride myself on not being a judgmental person. I just ask that the public not judge me because of an ill worded tweet.
‘I like many Americans are frustrated by a lot of things in the world and I would like to be a part of the dialogue moving forward to make this a better world for everyone.
‘I once again apologize to anyone who was offended today and I just ask you not judge me off of a social media posting.’
But despite the apology, fans were quick to attack the comments on social media.
‘How does this guy still have a job? Clear racist playing for your team @Mariners,’ one person tweeted.
‘Mariners I’m done watching, buying, or supporting anything #Mariners related until #racist @Clev_45 is not a member of the organization,’ another said.
‘Hey buddy… @Clev_45… You seem to have left racist off of your bio, don’t know if anyone told you. Just trying to help,’ another wrote.
However, some fans attempted to defend the offensive remarks.
‘Why does @clev_45 have to apologize? Since when can he not express his 1st amendment right?’ Ralph Menzione wrote.
‘So Krapernick can disrespect police and the nation but @Clev_45 speaks out against the riots and BLM and loses his job? So much for equality,’ Kevin Marshall tweeted.
‘I stand with you. Apparently only Black Sports players can have an opinion on racial matters. What an absolute joke,’ another added.
Clevenger has barely played all season for Seattle, and last took the field on June 29.
He joined the Mariners this year, having previously played for the Baltimore Orioles and Chicago Cubs.
SOURCE: Daily Mail