The Seattle Mariners suspended backup pitcher Steve Clevenger after his racially charged Tweets that criticized Black Lives Matter, Obama and the NFL player demonstrations during the national anthem, as started by San Francisco 49er Colin Kaepernick.
Jerry Dipoto, the club’s executive vice president and general manager, made the announcement Friday.
“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,” Dipoto said according to the prepared statement. “Today we have informed him that he is suspended for the reminder of the season without pay.”
Before Clevenger’s Twitter account was put into protected mode, he posted on Thursday that BLM protesters “should be locked behind bars like animals.”
Thursday was the third day of protests in Charlotte, North Carolina, after the fatal police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott. While Charlotte Police say he was armed, his family says he was not and Scott’s wife released video of his encounter with police. Another man, Justin Carr, was fatally shot during Wednesday’s demonstrations, and a man was arrested Friday morning in connection with the shooting.
Twitter user @cablebox666 screen captured Clevenger’s posts.
look at this asshole pic.twitter.com/bzOstVrLHl
— IMPEACH RAPISTS (@cablebox666) September 22, 2016
Clevenger’s postings also drew a strong response from the Seattle Mariners’ management.
Statement from Jerry Dipoto, Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations on Tweets from catcher Steve Clevenger. pic.twitter.com/1xWk6dy5ap
— Mariners (@Mariners) September 23, 2016
Fox Sports reporter Ken Rosenthal posted a statement from Clevenger apologizing for the statements that said in part:
“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.”
Clevenger already had been expected to miss the rest of the season after being put on the disabled list after a fractured right hand, according to the Seattle Times.
According to USA Today, the suspension without pay will cost Clevenger $32,000.