Updated Friday, Sept. 23, 2016, 2:42 p.m. EDT: The Seattle Mariners have suspended Steve Clevenger for the remainder of the 2016 season without pay. Clevenger spent Thursday tweeting out vile messages about Keith Lamont Scott, who was gunned down by Charlotte-Mecklenburg, N.C., police, and those who have been protesting his death. In theory, the suspension sounds good until you realize that Major League Baseball's regular season is over in two weeks.
Seattle Mariners backup catcher-infielder Steve Clevenger tweeted some pretty hateful messages Thursday, only to backtrack once his team shamed him into an apology.
Clevenger tweeted: "Black people beating whites when a thug got shot holding a gun by a black officer haha [s—t] cracks me up! Keep kneeling for the anthem!"
He then added: "BLM is pathetic once again! Obama you are pathetic once again! Everyone involved should be locked behind bars like animals!"
Sporting News reports that Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto issued a statement Thursday:
The Seattle Mariners are very disappointed at the tweets posted on Steve Clevenger’s account. 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. We are currently examining all internal options that are available to us as we determine appropriate steps. We will have no further comment at this time.
Clevenger issued an apology after his team shamed him into it. We've seen these apologies time and again, so how about we rate it on the "Whitesplaining Real Racism" scale?
There are three steps to take when one is issuing a real racism apology after saying or tweeting something really racist.
The first is shock and awe that anyone would find you racist. In order for someone to believe that you aren't racist, you have to act as if you can't believe that anyone would ever think such things of you. It works better if you have a fainting couch.
The second is a connection to black people you would never hurt. These are usually friends, a nanny, a co-worker, a white family member who dated a black person in the radical ’60s. Show a strong bond with them, and by default, your racism will be absolved.
The third is to pepper your apology with the language of great civil rights leaders. Just look them up and add them to your statement. Doesn't even matter if they pertain to your actual charge of racism. See if Rosa Parks said anything before she was carted off the bus, and use it. Black people know all the phraseology of civil rights blackness, and we will connect to it easy.
Now let's look at Clevenger's statement, which was sent to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal. I won't post the whole thing here, just the highlights. First, he notes that he's "sickened by the idea that anyone would think of me in racist terms."
Nice opener. Way to come out swinging. How dare you think that I'm racist after I tweeted some really racist tweets? Sure, I referred to Keith Lamont Scott, who was killed by Charlotte police, as a "thug" and called protesters "animals." But how dare you?!
He went on to explain, "My tweets were reactionary to the events I saw on the news and were worded 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 added this portion not because it was needed but I thought it was a nice touch. It's almost a red herring of sorts through which he kind of takes blame for his action, only to place it back on the reader.
It's what I call the nonapology apology.
My mom is the queen of this. It's the apology where you say, "Sorry you left your foot in the street and I drove over it."
Clevenger then states that he grew up "on the streets of Baltimore" and said he was proud that his "inner circle of friends has never been defined by race but by the content of their character."
This might be the most brilliant portion of his statement because it’s a double-play racism ball.
Read this statement as: “I grew up with real inner-city black people and MLK language.”
Clevenger ends the statement with: "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."
Peep another nonapology apology (just pointing it out, but we don't have to get stuck there).
But tell me, who didn't see God coming? Tell me you didn't see God coming at the end of the statement. You know that God is the biggest weapon in the racist-apology handbook. This statement was borderline textbook racist apology, and a little poorly done, in my opinion. In fact, racist athletes who want to be personal racists (e.g., in your home life, on Facebook, Twitter) and then professionally apologize, consider outsourcing to someone who knows what this looks like.
I can do it for a nominal fee and make your statements shine like the Chrysler building.
Stephen A. Crockett Jr. is a senior editor at The Root. Follow him on Twitter.