Until Thursday, Simmons, 19, had been employed by Trek-Segafredo, a bike manufacturer that sponsors road cyclists competing at the UCI WorldTeam level. The 2019 junior road race world champion had been competing in his first year with the team. However, comments he made on Twitter this week may jeopardize his future in the sport.
On Wednesday, Dutch journalist José Been posted on Twitter, saying that she hopes “this horrible presidency ends for you,” referring to her American friends. She added, “if you follow me and support Trump, you can go.”
Simmons used an emoji depicting a dark-skinned hand doing a wave motion, and wrote “Bye.”
Later, according to The Independent, a Twitter user referred to Simmons as a “Trumper,” to which he replied “that’s right” with an American flag emoji.
Not long afterward, users were threatening to boycott Simmons’ sponsor, Trek Bikes. The manufacturer then responded that they were going to “work with Quinn to help him understand the appropriate tone of conversation an athlete in his position should maintain.”
On Thursday, Trek-Segafredo announced that Simmons is suspended until further notice.
“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. (He) will not be racing for Trek-Segafredo until further notice,” the team said in a statement.
Been later deleted her tweet and said that she regretted the entire situation.
“To suspend him would never be my choice,” she said.
She has since deleted her entire Twitter account, according to The Independent. An account bearing that name still exists on Twitter, although it has since been set to Private, meaning that only people she approves can see her tweets.
Simmons had not responded to his suspension, as of Thursday afternoon.
Meanwhile, the list of people who have gotten into hot water at their jobs for supporting Donald Trump continues to grow.
As reported at the time by The Hill, in July Michigan high school social studies teacher and baseball coach Justin Kucera claimed he was fired from his job for tweeting his support of Trump’s belief that schools needed to open in the fall.
He responded to a reply to his tweet by writing, “Liberals suck man,” although he later deleted it.
However, in a statement, his former employer denied that he’d been fired for his politics.