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Seattle Mariners' Steve Clevenger suspended over Charlotte protest tweets

Last Updated Sep 23, 2016 5:00 PM EDT

SEATTLE -- The Seattle Mariners suspended reserve catcher Steve Clevenger for the rest of the season without pay Friday in the wake of his tweets regarding a recent police shooting in Charlotte, North Carolina, and the Black Lives Matter movement.

“As soon as we became aware of the tweets posted by Steve yesterday we began to examine all of our options in regard to his standing on the team,” General manager Jerry Dipoto said in a statement.

Dipoto said Clevenger was informed of the suspension on Friday. Clevenger will lose 10 days’ pay from his $516,500 salary in the major leagues, which comes to $28,224.

The Major League Baseball Players Association, which could challenge the discipline, had no comment.

Clevenger’s Twitter account was changed to private Thursday night. Screen shots of the tweets showed Clevenger made disparaging comments about protesters and President Obama, saying “everyone involved should be locked behind bars like animals!”

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.

Steve Clevenger, No. 32 of the Seattle Mariners, heads back to the dugout after striking out with two runners on base to end the fifth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Safeco Field on May 28, 2016, in Seattle, Washington.

Steve Clevenger, No. 32 of the Seattle Mariners, heads back to the dugout after striking out with two runners on base to end the fifth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Safeco Field on May 28, 2016, in Seattle, Washington.

Otto Greule Jr./Getty Images

“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.