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Trek-Segafredo suspend neo-pro Quinn Simmons after 'incendiary' tweet

Joe Robinson
1 Oct 2020

19-year-old suspended until further notice by his team

Trek-Segafredo have suspended young American rider Quinn Simmons indefinitely for posting comments to social media that were 'divisive, incendiary and detrimental to the team' in relation to US President Donald Trump.

In a brief statement, Trek-Segfredo outlined why the 19-year-old neo-pro would be suspended.

'Trek-Segafredo is an organisation that values inclusivity and supports a more diverse and equitable sport for all athletes. While we support the right to free speech, we will hold people accountable for their words and actions,' the statement read.

'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.

'In response, he will not be racing for Trek-Segafredo until further notice. The team and its partners will work together to determine how we will move forward and keep fans and the public informed as to the decisions made in the matter.'

The incident occurred on Wednesday after Simmons – who is current junior World Champion – responded to a tweet by Dutch cycling journalist and commentator Jose Been.

'My dear American friends, I hope this horrible presidency ends for you,' Been's tweet read. '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.'

The teenager reacted with a short message saying 'bye' followed by an emoji of a waving hand in a black skin tone.

Following a response that called Simmons a 'Trumper', the rider responded with 'That's right' and an American flag.

Simmons's brief correspondences on Twitter were then met with immediate, widespread backlash with some questioning his motivations in using a black emoji, calling it a form of racism.

With some then stating they would boycott Trek bikes, Simmons's team issued a shorter statement prior to the one above.

'In response to the above [Simmons's tweet], Trek-Segafredo does not condone comments or actions from its riders that add to divisive conversations. The team will work with Quinn to help him understand the appropriate tone of conversation an athlete in his position should maintain,' Trek-Segafredo wrote in a tweet.

'We’re committed to making the sport of cycling a truly diverse and equitable space for all riders. We will be putting out a public statement soon.'

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