Mariners ‘very disappointed’ in Steve Clevenger’s tweets
UPDATE: The Mariners have announced that Steve Clevenger has been suspended without pay for the remainder of the season. Read more.
— Original story —
The Mariners have issued a statement in regards to racially insensitive tweets made by catcher Steve Clevenger on Thursday about the Black Lives Matter movement and recent unrest after the shootings of black men by police officers in Tulsa, Okla. and Charlotte, N.C. this week.
Here is the Mariners’ statement from general manager Jerry Dipoto:
“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. We will have no further comment at this time.”
Clevenger first tweeted on Thursday: “Black people beating whites when a thug got shot holding a gun by a black officer haha [expletive] cracks me up. Keep kneeling for the Anthem!” He followed up with another post: “BLM is pathetic once again! Obama you are pathetic once again! Everyone involved should be locked behind bars like animals!”
After the Mariners’ statement, Clevenger released one of his own via Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports in which he apologized for tweets he called “reactionary” and “worded beyond poorly.”
“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.”
Clevenger is currently on the Mariners’ 60-day disabled list for a broken bone in his hand suffered in June. In addition to his initial injury, he suffered a setback with a flexor strain in his elbow. He was acquired last offseason from Baltimore for slugger Mark Trumbo.