Steve Clevenger suspended without pay for controversial tweets

Big League Stew

Seattle Mariners catcher Steve Clevenger has been suspended without pay for the remainder of the season after sending out two controversial tweets Thursday referencing the Charlotte protests, the Black Lives Matter movement, athletes kneeling during the national anthem and President Obama.

“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 via a statement Friday. “Today we have informed him that he is suspended for the reminder of the season without pay.”

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Clevenger made his Twitter account private when the backlash began but has now responded with a statement of his own, via Fox Sports’ 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.”

The Mariners are looking into some controversial tweets by catcher Steve Clevenger. (Getty Images/Otto Greule Jr.)
The Mariners are looking into some controversial tweets by catcher Steve Clevenger. (Getty Images/Otto Greule Jr.)

An apology from Clevenger was to be expected at this point, but it’s tough to see these words counteracting the ones seen on his Twitter account earlier.

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Israel Fehr is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at israelfehr@yahoo.ca or follow him on Twitter.

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