Seattle Mariners: Steve Clevenger, You’re Outta Here

Yesterday, Steve Clevenger made a concerted effort to be released from Mariners. His tweets about the civil unrest In Charlotte, North Carolina were ignorant, racially insensitive and counter-productive. He will be lucky if he ever plays another major league game in his life.

For the moment, it appears that Steve Clevenger has gotten a slap on the wrist from the Mariners organization. His undeniably, racially targeted comments yesterday have earned him a suspension without pay for the remainder of the year. Only problem is, the season has less than two weeks remaining.

Before I dive into how bigoted and misinformed Clevenger’s tweets were, I’ll give you a chance to read them.

In one tweet he wrote:

“Black people beating whites when a thug got shot holding a gun by a black officer haha sh@t cracks me up. Keep kneeling for the Anthem!”

His second tweet went on to insult Black Lives Matter and President Barack Obama:

“BLM is pathetic once again! Obama you are pathetic once again! Everyone involved should be locked behind bars like animals!”

Now, let me say, it is within one’s first amendment rights to voice their opinion. However, when you are part of an organization, you understand that everything you say and do reflects on that group. Of course, the Mariners spoke out quickly to disavow Clevenger and his comments, but the damage had been done.

Here is the Mariners statement:

“The Seattle Mariners are very disappointed at the tweets posted on Steve Clevenger’s account,” the statement read.” While he is certainly 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.”

Especially in these times, when African-American athletes are speaking and acting out in numbers defending the rights of all African-Americans (as Clevenger referred to in his tweet), the Mariners do not want to be looked at as a organization that accepts racial insensitivity.

But his comments are a sign of the times. Lead by the republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump, many white people are feeling increasingly empowered. Based on his tweets, the offensive

rhetoric that the nominee has used towards all non-white people seems to resonant with Clevenger.

Clevenger’s blame of the protesters and Obama clearly shows that he thinks that African-Americans are the problem.

To him, African-Americans are acting irrationally, as “animals” and without cause. However, this seems so hard to believe because some of his teammates in Chicago, Baltimore and Seattle are or have been, African-American. This would imply that Clevenger never even spoke to his own African-American teammates about real issues they face and/or never cared.

This would not only make him a bad guy to have in the locker room- if he can’t talk with certain teammates about real life issues- but it would also make him a misguided, poorly informed, racist that is looking to dehumanize a large portion of the American people.

Seeing that this can be the only logical explanation for what Clevenger meant, exposing his true-self to the world, the Mariners should have hit Clevenger with a punishment that sends a message.

A  message that says, “We will never allow anyone in the organization to belittle another person or group. If they do, we want nothing to do with them ever again”. Hopefully, the Mariners take this course of action after the measly suspension ends.

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