The Seattle Mariners on Friday suspended backup catcher Steve Clevenger for the remainder of the season after his controversial tweets about the riots in Charlotte after the fatal shooting of a man by police.
“As soon as we became aware of the tweets posted by Steve yesterday we began to examine all of our options in regard to his standing on the team,” Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto said Friday. “Today we have informed him that he is suspended for the remainder of the season without pay.”
According to Seattle radio station KOMO, Clevenger tweeted, “BLM [Black Lives Matter] pathetic once again! Obama you are pathetic once again! Everyone involved should be locked behind bars like animals!”
Another tweet from Clevenger read: “Black people beating whites when a thug got shot holding a gun by a black police officer haha s—- cracks me up! Keep kneeling for the Anthem!”
Clevenger has since deleted the tweets and turned his Twitter account to private mode.
Clevenger apologized for the tweets, via FOX Sports:
First and foremost I would like to apologize to the Seattle Mariners, my teammates, my family and the fans of our great game for the distraction my tweets on my personal Twitter page caused when they went public earlier today. I am sickened by the idea that anyone would think of me in racist terms. My tweets were reactionary to the events I saw on the news and were worded beyond poorly at best and I can see how and why someone could read into my tweets far more deeply than how I actually feel.
I grew up on the streets of Baltimore, a city I love to this very day. I grew up in a very culturally diverse area of America and I am very proud to come from there. 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 judgemental person. I just ask that the public not judge me because of an ill worded tweet.
I do believe that supporting our First Amendment rights and supporting local law enforcement are not mutually exclusive. With everything going on in the world I really just want what is best for everyone regardless of who they are. 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. Thank you and God bless everyone
Dipoto expressed disappointment in the tweets and said that Clevenger’s beliefs do not reflect those of the organization.
“While he is certainly free to express himself, his tweets do not in any way represent the opinions of the Seattle Mariners,” Dipoto said in a statement. “We strongly disagree with the language and tone of his comments.”
Clevenger appeared in 22 games for the Mariners this year, where he’s recorded a .221 batting average, a .303 on-base percentage and one home run.