A promising U.S. cyclist racing in Europe has been suspended from his team because he got into a Twitter fight with an anti-Trump Dutch journalist.
Quinn Simmons, the reigning junior road race world champion and the junior U.S. road race champion, was pulled from several upcoming races by his team, Trek Segafredo.
Jose Been tweeted out, “If you follow me and support Trump, you can go.”
Simmons’ pithy reply was classic.
— Quinn Simmons (@QuinnSimmons9) September 30, 2020
Another Twitter user asked him if he supported Trump. His reply was equally pithy — and eloquent.
“That’s right,” Simmons wrote, alongside an American flag emoji.
But do you see the color of the hand emoji? Omigod — it’s BLACK! Or, maybe brown? Start the race.
Twitter users took issue with Simmons’s use of a Black hand emoji. In a statement, Trek Segafredo said it had suspended Simmons not for his political views, but for “engaging in conversation on Twitter in a way that we felt was conduct unbefitting a Trek athlete.”
In his own statement, Simmons denied racial animus behind the tweet.
“To those who found the color of the emoji racist, I can promise that I did not mean for it to be interpreted that way. I would like to apologize to everyone who found this offensive as I strongly stand against racism in any form,” Simmons said. “To anyone who disagrees with me politically, that is fine. I won’t hate you for it. I only ask the same.”
Good luck with that, kid. It doesn’t matter what you intended in tweeting an unwhite hand emoji. It’s how others can twist what you posted into something it wasn’t. This is a new world and adapting to it takes some time. You must walk on eggshells lest you offend someone who is looking to be offended. And if it’s your boss, sorry about that.
The Dutch journalist swears she “never intended” for Simmons to be suspended. That, too, is a dodge. She was hoping for a lot of retweets and praise from the woke Europeans who read her Twitter feed. She ended up having to delete her entire account after the pushback.
The cycling business has gotten woke as well.
Like much of international sport, professional cycling is reckoning with its own role in social justice campaigns. Several European riders have been suspended in recent years for hurling racial invectives at the few Black members of the professional peloton.
At the just-completed Tour de France, French cyclist Kevin Reza, the only Black rider participating in this year’s edition, was given a place of honor at the head of the peloton at the beginning of the race’s final stage into Paris.
It’s sometimes hard to prove how woke you are in Europe because, frankly, there aren’t a lot of people of color on the continent compared to the U.S. So when they find some lonely black cyclist, they point to him frantically to show the world just how tolerant they really are.
Someday soon, someone is going to ask, “Is this really the best way to go about addressing racism in the world?” Forcing the wokesters to think in terms of really changing the world instead of engaging in these personal displays of fake moralism and ostentatious behavior would probably cause their heads to explode.