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Mariners Catcher Steve Clevenger Calls Obama, BLM “Pathetic” in Controversial Tweets
There are a lot of people who do not agree with the Black Lives Matter movement, President Barack Obama, or kneeling during the national anthem. And that is fine. Reasonable people can and do disagree. But there are ways to express such disagreement that are constructive and sensitive to the strong emotions police shootings evoke. And then there’s the way Seattle Mariners catcher Steve Clevenger expressed his disagreement.
On Thursday, Clevenger took to Twitter to comment on the protests going on in North Carolina in response to the shooting death of Keith Lamont Scott at the hands of the police on Tuesday. And let’s just say it was not a measured response.
Take a look:
Needless to say, those tweets did not go over very well. A lot of people on social media felt there were racist undertones to Clevenger’s comments, and Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto issued a statement on Thursday calling the tweets “very disappointing.”
“While [Clevenger] is certainly free to express himself, his tweets do not in any way represent the opinions of the Seattle Mariners,” said Dipoto. “We strongly disagree with the language and tone of his comments.”
A few hours later, Clevenger himself released his own statement via Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal apologizing for his “reactionary” tweets.
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.
The lesson here? Think twice before you tweet. And if you can’t do that, maybe just don’t tweet at all.