Scores of athletes have been protesting the National Anthem, refusing to stand and kneeling instead. San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick kicked off the trend, claiming that he could not show respect to this country when he is so horribly “oppressed”. Many other athletes followed, in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement… and none of them faced any repercussions for their actions.
But what happens if someone takes the opposite view, and openly opposes Black Lives Matter? Well, apparently, they get punished.
Seattle Mariners catcher Steve Clevenger does not agree with the Black Lives Matter movement, and after the riots in Charlotte, he decided to make that known. He fired off a series of tweets that got a lot of attention. “BLM is pathetic once again! Obama you are pathetic once again! Everyone involved should be locked behind bars like animals!” he wrote. He followed that up with another tweet, writing, “Black people beating whites when a thug got shot holding a gun by a black officer haha shit cracks me up! Keep kneeling for the Anthem!”
Those tweets were deleted, but not before Clevenger set off a firestorm of criticism. And the Mariners were not pleased: they announced he would be suspended without pay for the rest of the season.
Clevenger has been sitting the bench since June due to an injury, but he still had a salary of $516,500 for the season. There are 10 days left in the season, which results in him losing just under $34,000.
After being suspended, Clevenger released a statement apologizing for his tweets:
The question is, why is it unacceptable for Clevenger to express his opinion about Black Lives Matter, yet it’s acceptable for other athletes to protest in favor of them?