WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- American junior road race world champion Quinn Simmons was suspended by his cycling team Trek-Segafredo following his controversial comments expressing his support for President Donald Trump.
- Trek-Segafredo did not clearly explain why Simmons got suspended but it appeared to be his use of a Black-skinned waving hand emoji.
- Simmons’ suspension earned mixed reactions from the public as some called for the boycotting of Trek cycling products.
American cyclist star Quinn Simmons was suspended by his Cycling team Trek-Segafredo following the controversial comments he made on Twitter in support of President Donald Trump.
The 19-year-old road race world champion was responding to Jose Been, a Dutch cycling journalist who has been tweeting critical statements against Trump.
“My dear American friends, I hope this horrible presidency ends for you. And for us as (former?) allies too,” Been wrote.
“If you follow me and support Trump, you can go. There is zero excuse to follow or vote for the vile, horrible man.”
Simmons tweeted back with a “Bye” that includes a Black-skinned waving hand emoji.
When another Twitter user responded to Been, saying “Apparently a Trumper,” Simmons replied back: “That’s right,” with an American flag emoji.
On late Wednesday night, the racing team issued a statement on Twitter regarding Simmon’s twitter comments.
“While we support the right to free speech, we will hold people accountable for their words and actions. Regrettably, 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. In response, he will not be racing for Trek-Segafredo until further notice.”
Trek-Segafredo did not clarify why Simmons got suspended, but it appeared that the issue was his use of a Black-skinned hand emoji. The emoji with a black-skinned color could be considered a sort of a Blackface for Simmons, who is white.
Been, whom Simmons had a political Twitter exchange, deleted her tweet about Trump.
On Thursday, Been tweeted that she feels “horrible about the situation and terrible for @QuinnSimmons9 to miss his beloved classics. To suspend him would never be my choice.”
As of this time, Been appeared to have deleted her Twitter account.
The suspension earned some criticisms and calls of boycotting Trek cycling products as the junior world champion was only making his presence felt in support of Trump. They believe that none of his remarks were inappropriate or demeaning.