American cyclist suspended by team after pro-Trump comments

Sports

FILE – In this Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019 file photo, United States’ Quinn Simmons celebrates winning the men’s junior event, at the road cycling World Championships in Harrogate, England. American cyclist Quinn Simmons was suspended by the Trek-Segafredo team on Thursday Oct. 1, 2020, for social media comments supporting President Donald Trump. The 2019 junior road race world champion’s political beliefs were revealed on Twitter after he replied to a journalist from the Netherlands who had criticized Trump. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez, File)

GENEVA (AP) — American cyclist Quinn Simmons was suspended by the Trek-Segafredo team on Thursday after posting antagonistic comments on social media in support of President Donald Trump.

The 2019 junior road race world champion replied to a journalist from the Netherlands who had criticized Trump on Twitter.

“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,” Trek-Segafredo said in a statement. “(He) will not be racing for Trek-Segafredo until further notice.”

The 19-year-old rider reacted Wednesday when Dutch journalist José Been posted on Twitter that she hoped for her American friends that “this horrible presidency ends for you,” adding “if you follow me and support Trump, you can go.”

Simmons replied by writing “Bye” with an emoji of a dark-skinned hand waving.

When a separate account replied “Apparently a Trumper,” Simmons countered “That’s right” with a United States flag symbol.

Been later deleted her original post and wrote Thursday that she feels “horrible about the situation and terrible for (at)QuinnSimmons9 to miss his beloved classics. To suspend him would never be my choice.”

Simmons is in his first season with the Trek-Segafredo team, which described him on its website as “at his best in punchy one-day races … he will be a perfect fit for the Classics team.”

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