Seattle Mariners backup catcher Steve Clevenger has been suspended without pay for the remainder of the MLB season

By Rose Minutaglio
September 23, 2016 04:20 PM
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Credit: Robert Binder/MLB/Getty

Seattle Mariners backup catcher Steve Clevenger has been suspended without pay for the remainder of the MLB season following his controversial tweets in response to violent protests and civil unrest in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Clevenger’s Twitter profile is now private, but KOMO investigator Jon Humbert took a screenshot of the tweets, which call for protestors to be “locked behind bars like animals.”

Mariners executive vice president and general manager of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto released a statement on the decision to suspend the player.

“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,” he said in the statement. “Today we have informed him that he is suspended for the remainder of the season without pay.”

Clevenger issued an apology on Thursday, according to Fox Sports MLB Insider 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.”

Clevenger’s social media posts were in response to the violence occurring in Charlotte, following the killing of a 43-year-old African-American man by police on Tuesday.

Authorities claim Keith Lamont Scott “posed an imminent deadly threat to officers” before he was fatally shot by Officer Brentley Vinson.

Since the incident, protestors have been marching through the city – one demonstration leading to the death of a 26-year-old man.