Seattle Mariners catcher Steve Clevenger has been suspended for the rest of the season for sending racially insensitive tweets about the protests of police killings in Charlotte on Wednesday.
The Mariners announced the decision on Friday, following Clevenger’s tweets on Thursday night.
The posts refer to police-shooting victim Keith Lamont Scott as a "thug," mock athletes protesting during the national anthem and also lash out at the Black Lives Matter movement and President Barack Obama. The posts also suggest those involved in the Charlotte protest “should be locked behind bars like animals.”
“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!”
“[Black Lives Matter] is pathetic once again! Obama you are pathetic once again! Everyone involved should be locked behind bars like animals!”
Clevenger apologized on Thursday night through a statement posted to the Facebook of Fox Sports reporter Ken Rosenthal.
“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.”
Mariners general manager and executive vice president Jerry Dipoto said in a statement earlier Thursday that the Mariners did not condone the comments in any way.
Clevenger has not played since June 29 due to injuries and has appeared in only 22 games this season, batting .221.