An up-and-coming American cyclist has been suspended from his racing team for making comments in support of President Trump on Twitter that the team dubbed “divisive, incendiary, and detrimental.”
Quinn Simmons, 19, was taken out of action by the Trek-Seagredo team after getting into an online exchange with a Dutch journalist Wednesday.
Simmons, who joined the World Tour team this year after winning the junior road world championship last year, came under fire after responding to an anti-Trump tweet by cycling journalist Jose Been.
“My dear American friends, I hope this horrible presidency ends for you,” Been posted. “And for us as (former?) allies too. If you follow me and support Trump, you can go. There is zero excuse to follow or vote for the vile, horrible man.”
Simmons answered “Bye,” with an emoji of a dark-skinned waving hand, ABC News reported.
When another user replied, “Apparently a Trumper,” Simmons came back with a post saying, “That’s right,” with a US flag symbol.
The team announced Wednesday that it had suspended Simmons.
“Trek-Segafredo is an organization that values inclusivity and supports more diverse and equitable sport for all athletes,” the team posted on Twitter. “While we support the right to free speech, we will hold people accountable for their words and actions.”
“Regrettably, team rider Quinn Simmons made statements online that we feel are divisive, incendiary, and detrimental to the team, professional cycling, its fans, and the positive future we hope to help create for the sport,” the statement said. “In response, he will not be racing for Trek-Segafredo until further notice.”
Been later deleted his original post and said he felt “horrible about the situation and terrible for @QuinnSimmons9 to miss his beloved classics.”
“To suspend him would never be my choice,” Been added.
With Post wires
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