The Seattle Mariners have suspended catcher Steve Clevenger for the remainder of the season without pay, according to Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times.
Clevenger is being suspended for a pair of tweets that were critical of Barack Obama and black people, saying all those involved with the Black Lives Matter movement should be “locked behind bars like animals.”
General Manager Jerry Dipoto released a statement explaining the move:
“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. Today we have informed him that he is suspended for the reminder of the season without pay.”
Clevenger, who has been sidelined since June with an injury, has a salary this season of $516,500.
There are ten days left in the season which means Clevenger stands to lose approximately $29,000.
The tweets have since been deleted. Here are screengrabs via The Score:
Clevenger has played in the big leagues in parts of six seasons with the Cubs, the Orioles, and the Mariners.
Clevenger issued the following statement to Business Insider apologizing for his comments:
“First and foremost I would like to apologise to the Seattle Mariners, my teammates, my family and the fans of our great game for the distraction caused by my tweets on my personal twitter page that 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 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, am 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 apologise 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.”