Seattle Mariners catcher Steve Clevenger has been officially suspended for the rest of the 2016 season without pay after he took to Twitter yesterday making racially charged comments about the protesters of the recent police shooting in Charlotte, North Carolina and the Black Lives Matter movement.
Screenshots of the tweets showed Clevenger made disparaging comments about protesters and President Barack Obama, saying "everyone involved should be locked behind bars like animals!"
Clevenger's Twitter account was changed to private Thursday night. His comments were directly referring to the situation in Charlotte, where people are protesting the death of Keith Lamont Scott, who was shot and killed by police on Tuesday afternoon.
General manager Jerry Dipoto issued a brief statement on Thursday night, saying the club is "very disappointed" and while Clevenger is free to express himself, "his tweets do not in any way represent the opinions of the Seattle Mariners. We strongly disagree with the language and tone of his comments."
Dipoto said Clevenger was informed of the suspension on Friday.
After the backlash, Clevenger released a statement to Fox Sports late Thursday night apologizing 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," continued Clevenger's 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."
Clevenger appeared in 22 games for the Mariners this season. He was placed on the disabled list with a fractured hand on June 30.