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Quinn Simmons apologies for tweet saying it was not racist

Joe Robinson
2 Oct 2020

Trek-Segafredo neo-pro responds after being suspended for using a black hand emoji in Twitter argument around President Trump

American rider Quinn Simmons has issued an apology for using a black hand emoji stating he 'did not mean for it to be interpreted that way'.

The 19-year-old found himself in hot water earlier this week following a Twitter correspondence with Dutch cycling journalist and broadcaster Jose Been.

After Been told any of her followers who support American President Donald Trump to unfollow her, Simmons replied by tweeting 'Bye' followed by a waving hand emoji in a black skin tone.

Following Simmons' reply, another Twitter user asked the rider if he was a 'Trumper' to which he replied 'That's right'.

Simmons's Twitter replies were then met with immediate backlash with questioning his use of a black hand emoji as racist. 

After being suspended by his Trek-Segafredo team, the current Junior World Champion issued an apology on Thursday evening.

'As an American rider, I have always been proud to represent my country. Riding for an American team has been a lifelong dream. A big reason I chose this team was because of the American values behind it,' stated Simmons.

'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.

'To anyone who disagrees with me politically, that is fine. I won’t hate you for it. I only ask the same.'

The Trek-Segafredo team suspended Simmons until further notice however confirmed it was not for his political beliefs, rather 'for engaging in conversation on Twitter in a way that we felt was conduct unbefitting a Trek athlete'.

Trek-Segafredo team manager Luca Guercilena added that the team would look to work closely with Simmons in the future.

'We hold all Trek staff and management to a high ethical standard and our athletes are no exception,' said Guercilena.

'We believe that Quinn has a bright future as a professional athlete if he can use this opportunity to grow as a person and make a positive contribution for a better future for cycling. We remain committed to helping Quinn as much as we can.'

The team made no statement on whether Simmons would return this season. The 19-year-old was expected to make his Spring Classics debut in October

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