Ex-Mariners Pitcher Steve Clevenger, Who Was Fired After Calling Black Lives Matter Protesters ‘Animals’, says he’s Not a Racist

Former MLB catcher Steve Clevenger is sorry for his incendiary and insensitive tweets around the Charlotte protests. (Getty Images)
Former MLB catcher Steve Clevenger is sorry for his incendiary and insensitive tweets around the Charlotte protests. (Getty Images)

Former major league catcher Steve Clevenger, whose incendiary and insensitive tweets during the September protests in Charlotte led to a suspension and accusations of racism, is hopeful his remorse and attempts to educate himself on the complexities of cultural issues can help earn him entry back into organized baseball as spring training begins without him.

“My words were wrong. I regret every day that I wrote it, and I wish I could take it back,” Clevenger told Yahoo Sports in his first interview since the tweets. “They were harsh. They were mean. They angered a lot of people. And I’m sorry for it. I can only ask for forgiveness.”

As the protests that followed a number of police shootings of black men led to conflicts between law enforcement and demonstrators on Sept. 22, Clevenger sent a pair of tweets before going to a doctor’s appointment for the broken hand that had sidelined him for the second half of the season with the Seattle Mariners.

The first tweet read: “[Black Lives Matter] is pathetic once again! Obama you are pathetic once again! Everyone involved should be locked behind bars like animals.” The second: “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!”

When the 30-year-old Clevenger left the doctor’s office, he realized the tweets had gone viral. Clevenger said Jeff Kingston, the Mariners’ assistant general manager, reached out and asked him to delete the tweets. They were screengrabbed before he did so, and within 24 hours the Mariners – who had traded eventual American League home run champion Mark Trumbo for Clevenger, a backup catcher – had suspended him for the remainder of the season. On Nov. 2, he was removed from the Mariners’ 40-man roster and chose free agency.

While a handful teams have inquired about Clevenger’s status this offseason, none has offered him so much as a minor league contract.

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SOURCE: Jeff Passan

MLB columnist, Yahoo Sports