Update: After this article was published the Seattle Mariners announced that Clevenger would be suspended without pay for the remainder of the 2016 season. The Mariners found that Clevenger violated Major League Baseball’s social media policy.
Steve Clevenger’s baseball career could be coming to an end after he tweeted criticism of Black Lives Matter and President Barack Obama. The tweets, which were eventually deleted before Clevenger’s page was made private, angered many baseball fans for the not-so-pleasant tone used against African Americans and protesters.
“Black people beating whites when a thug got shot holding a gun by a black officer haha shit cracks me up! Keep kneeling for the Anthem!” Clevenger wrote.
“BLM is pathetic once again! Obama you are pathetic once again! Everyone involved should be locked behind bars like animals!” he later added.
Shortly thereafter, the Seattle Mariners, Clevenger’s current employer, said they would look into the matter.
“While he is certainly free to express himself, his tweets do not in any way represent the opinions of the Seattle Mariners,” the team’s statement said. “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.”
After Clevenger’s comments began circulating around the Internet, the backup catcher tried to apologize.
“I am sickened by the idea that anyone would think of me in racist terms,” Clevenger wrote in a statement. “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.”
According to Clevenger, he was raised in a culturally diverse part of Baltimore, and anyone who knows him, especially his teammates, would know that he doesn’t harbor racist feelings.
“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,” Clevenger wrote. “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. “