Seattle Mariners suspend catcher for speaking against violent Charlotte riots


2016 will go down as one of the most controversial election seasons in recent memory. The last few years for America have been tumultuous, rampant with unrest and vitriol. From Ferguson to Charlotte, as well as disrupted political events along the way, violence has become a norm even among those on the left who claim to oppose it.


Now in North Carolina, riots are breaking out just as they did in Ferguson. So-called “protesters” are taking advantage of a bad situation to create social unrest and turn innocent members of the community into victims. It’s the same narrative as in Ferguson, when violent thugs destroyed businesses and vandalized the city because they apparently oppose oppression.

There is absolutely no place for violence in society. But in order to eliminate oppression and violence, more people need to speak out against it instead of rewarding those who are doing it. One way to speak out is to correctly label those who are perpetuating violence. They’re not protesters, they’re violent thugs.

This was the point that Catcher Steve Clevenger of the Seattle Mariners seemed to be getting at. In a couple of tweets regarding the recent riots in Charlotte, he observed the racial confusion among the rioters and then said those waging violence should be locked behind bars “like animals.”

The first tweet talked about blacks beating whites because a black cop shot a black guy. While worded a little poorly on a platform that encourages short thoughts with its character limits, pointing out that police brutality isn’t always a racial problem against the black community isn’t wrong. To this point, Clevenger ended his tweet by saying “keep kneeling for the anthem”, alluding to San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refusing to stand for the National Anthem to protest inequality and brutality.

The second tweet from Clevenger says that Black Lives Matter and President Barack Obama are pathetic. He then stated those involved in the riots should be behind bars like animals. Again, worded poorly, but where should those acting violent and rioting be? Behind bars.


Undoubtedly, when the Seattle Mariners responded by suspending the Catcher for the season without pay, they were attempting to stop a public relations nightmare. They’re a baseball team, not a political organization. Baseball also has a diverse group of people in it and is played all around the world. Injecting racially insensitive rhetoric into a national conversation will reflect on the organization through the media and people on social media.

Still, Steve Clevenger isn’t wrong in what he means, just what how he says it. The Seattle Mariners, however, communicate the wrong message when putting a public relations message first. The catcher did not say anything racist, but rather pointed out that the message being peddled by Black Lives Matter is wrong. An African-American shooting an African-American doesn’t communicate racial bias, but if anything, a police brutality issue at best.

To this point, the issue in Charlotte is best addressed by not provoking the police into needing to escalate their approach. Violence here will just force good cops to react badly because the protesters are resorting to the tactics they claim to be opposing.

Chris Dixon is a liberty activist and writer from Maine. In addition to being Managing Editor for the Liberty Conservative, he also writes the Bangor Daily News blog "Undercover Porcupine" and for sports website Cleatgeeks.

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