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Seattle Mariners suspend Steve Clevenger without pay for Black Lives Matter tweets

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Posted at 11:40 AM, Sep 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-23 12:31:08-04

The Seattle Mariners announced Friday that catcher Steve Clevenger has been suspended without pay for the remainder of the season, a day after he posted tweets critical of the Black Lives Matter movement.

The organization tweeted the news late Friday morning. 

 

Clevenger, a former Oriole and a Glen Burnie native, apologized for a series of tweets in which he called Black Lives Matter protesters “pathetic” and said they should be “locked behind bars like animals,” CNN reported Friday.

He also took aim at President Obama and athletes who have declined to stand for the National Anthem at sporting events.

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Clevenger, now a catcher for the Seattle Mariners, has since made his account private.

But the tweets, according to screen shots, read:

"Black people beating whites when a thug got shot holding a gun by a black officer haha s**t cracks me up! Keep kneeling for the anthem!"

"BLM is pathetic once again! Obama is pathetic once again! Everyone involved should be locked behind bars like animals."

Clevenger posted the tweets in response to unrest following police-involved shootings in Charlotte, N.C. and Tulsa, Okla.

Jerry Dipoto, Mariners executive vice president and general manager, put out a statement Thursday night, saying the organization is “very disappointed” in the tweets.

“The Seattle Mariners are very disappointed at the tweets posted on Steve Clevenger's account. 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,” he said.

Clevenger also released a statement Thursday night, according to the Olympian newspaper in Olympia, Wash.

The apology reads:

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 judgmental 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.