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Justin Verlander issues apology for ‘All Lives Matter’ tweet

justin-verlander

Justin Verlander has apologized for a tweet in which he claims to have unwittingly stepped into a controversial political quagmire.

The Detroit Tigers pitcher took to Twitter to make note of how the members of the TBS studio crew sang “O Canada” following the Toronto Blue Jays’ series-clinching Game 3 victory over the Texas Rangers.

Verlander expressed frustration over how the Canadian national anthem was sung by the broadcasters while referencing theĀ  controversy currently taking place in American sports originally spawned by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s decision to kneel during the national anthem.

But what drew criticism in Verlander’s tweet is how he mentioned “All Lives Matter” in his tweet via a hashtag.

The invocation of “All Lives Matter” has become a controversial retort to the “Black Lives Matter” movement, as it is seen as a way to downplay the movement’s message.

Verlander took to Twitter afterward amid sweeping criticism to claim he had no idea the heated political rhetoric inherent to the “All Lives Matter” message as well as offer an apology.

We’ll obviously never really know if Verlander was in fact “uninformed” of the “racial implications” of the “All Lives Matter” message. But the fact he apologized should silence at least some segment of his critics.

Further, Verlander is not even the first high-profile sports personality to plea ignorance after using it. NFL icon Jerry Rice similarly issued an apology after being called out for mentioning “All Lives Matter” while criticizing Kaepernick.

In the end, it’s incumbent upon people with considerable reach on social media to exercise extreme caution when expressing their thoughts on such hot-button, politically charged and potentially controversial issues. Verlander clearly has learned that lesson all too well.

[Big League Stew]