A US cyclist was suspended from his team for a one-word, pro-Trump tweet that’s been deemed “divisive, incendiary and detrimental.”
On Wednesday, the team Trek-Segafredo said 19-year-old Quinn Simmons will not be racing “until further notice” as a result of his statement.
Follow our US election 2020 live blog for the latest news & updatesCycler Quinn Simmons has been suspended for a one-word pro-Trump tweet[/caption] Simmons wrote ‘Bye’ to a journalist who asked Trump supports to unfollow her; he also added a black hand emoji[/caption]
The comments were made in response to Dutch Journalist Jose Been.
The reporter said she hoped Donald Trump‘s presidency would soon end and added that any of her followers who support the president “can go.”
Simmons responded to her tweet with the word “Bye” and added in a black hand-waving emoji.
Another user commented that Simmons was apparently a Trump supporter, to which the young cyclist responded, “That’s right,” with an American flag emoji.
Been has since deleted the original tweet.While some users supported Simmons’ suspension, others feel the 19-year-old rider should be cut some slack[/caption]
Trek-Segafredo released a statement shortly after the exchange saying that while they support 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 this sport,” their statement read.
After announcing Simmons’ suspension, Trek-Segafredo said the team “and its partners will work together to determine how we will move forward.”
Many Twitter users slammed the team for faulting such a young athlete for simply stating that he supports the current president.
But others applauded Trek-Segafredo and said that Simmons has displayed a pattern of behaviors on social media that may reflect poorly on the team.
Simmons was also ripped for his decision to use a black hand emoji as a white man.
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The athlete is a promising young rider, who won the junior World Championship road race in Yorkshire last year, according to Cycling Weekly.
He was signed to Trek-Segafredo for 2020 on a two-year neo-pro contract.
He will miss his debut this autumn in the Classics, which the original tweeter Been has reportedly said she feels terrible about.