The post came amid protests against police brutality in Minneapolis and drew immediate backlash.

“Wasn’t aware what the mask supported. still not into politics,” Kepler wrote in an Instagram story that was deleted. Moments later, Kepler offered a more formal apology.

From The New York Daily News:

Earlier, I posted a photo of me in a mask that was sent to me by a company, to wear during the pandemic. I had no idea that the mask had any underlying inference — I simply thought it looked good. After I was informed, I immediately took down the post.

I take complete responsibility for not knowing what I was wearing. I am truly sorry for the hurt and pain my actions have caused, especially now.

Racism has no place in our world and I do not in any way support the actions that we all witnessed that led to George Floyd’s passing. My sympathies are with the Floyd family.

Kepler was born in Germany and attended high school in Berlin.

He didn’t move to the United States until after he was drafted by the Twins in 2009. In a separate response, he says he didn’t realize what the blue line stood for since the primary police color in Germany is green.

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