The Seattle Mariners have suspended catcher Steve Clevenger without pay for the rest of the season after the player sent a series of offensive Tweets, including one that said that Black Lives Matter protesters “should be locked behind bars like animals.”
General Manager Jerry Dipoto released the following statement Thursday evening:
Twitter user @cablebox666 captured a screenshot of the two Tweets (Clevenger’s account is private). The Tweets, posted Thursday afternoon, mock the Black Lives Matter movement and protests over recent police shootings in Tulsa, Charlotte, and Cleveland. In one Tweet, Clevenger says the protesters “should be locked behind bars like animals.”
A representative with the Seattle Mariners told CBS Seattle: “We’re looking into it and we don’t yet have anything we can say.”
Clevenger released a statement late Thursday evening, via FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal:
Sherman Speaks Out
Clevenger’s Tweets come just one day after another Seattle athlete, Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, spoke out about racism and the police shootings of Black men, women and children. Several NFL players have made the decision to kneel during the national anthem as protest over police shootings and discrimination:
“I do a lot of community service,” Sherman told reporters Wednesday. “I go out there and try to help kids and try to encourage them to be better and to aspire to more. And when you tell a kid you know when you’re dealing with police just put your hands up and comply with everything, and there’s still a chance of him getting shot. And no repercussions for anyone. That’s an unfortunate time to be living. you know, that’s an unfortunate place to be in. There’s not a lot you can tell a kid. There’s not a lot you can say to inspire a person when you say “hey, we need Black fathers to be in the community, to stay there for your kids,” but they’re getting killed in the street for nothing. For putting their hands on their cars. And I think that’s the unfortunate part, that’s the unfortunate place that we’re living in. And something needs to be done.”
A Call For Justice From The Sideline
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has been at the forefront of a protest against police violence and discrimination toward people of color in his decision to take a knee during the National Anthem at the beginning of every NFL game. In the last two weeks alone, at least three cases of police shootings have made headlines. A 40-year-old unarmed African-American man, Terance Crutcher, was shot and killed by a police officer in Tulsa, Oklahoma Friday night after calling for roadside assistance. Keith Lamont Scott, a father of seven who is also Black, was shot and killed Tuesday in an apartment parking lot by Charlotte police, who were searching for a separate man.
Last week 13-year-old Tyre King, also Black, died after being shot three times by a Columbus, Ohio police officer. Five-foot-tall King, who was carrying a toy BB gun, was fired upon as he was running from an officer.
A number of other NFL players have joined Kaepernick, by either kneeling or raising a first, including LA Rams defensive end Robert Quinn, Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane, Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall, Miami Dolphins players Arian Foster, Jelani Jenkins, Michael Thomas, and Kenny Stills, and more. The entire Seahawks squad has chosen to link arms on the sidelines during the anthem as their show of unity.
Still, players have received a wave of criticism and, at least in the case of Kaepernick, reported death threats.