Bernard Berrian threatens lawsuit over Twitter fight
The comedy of errors that was the Twitter fight between Vikings wide receiver Bernard Berrian and Rep. John Kriesel marches on.
The internet had a field day after Berrian unknowingly smack-talked Kriesel, a veteran and one of the Vikings-stadium's biggest boosters, on Twitter. Matt Ufford, a writer over at the NFL-themed humor blog Kissing Suzy Kolbert, had even more fun penning a satirical entry on the incident.
Well, apparently he had a little bit too much fun. It appears that Berrian's people are threatening legal action.
The trouble started last weekend when Berrian tweeted out that he should have gotten the ball more often during the Vikings's 0-4 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Kriesel, apparently amused by the notion, tweeted:
@johnkriesel: If you want to follow a hilarious twitter account, try @B_Twice (Bernard Berrian) who says that he's open a lot and should get the ball more
Berrian, of course, did not take that lying down and snapped back:
@B_Twice: @johnkriesel anytime u wanna watch the film with me. Not just one game but all of them
And then followed up with the real money tweet:
@B_Twice: @johnkriesel and if not sit down n shut up!!
Much was made of that last quip since Kriesel is a double amputee who served in Iraq. Berrian apologized after the fact and said he didn't know who he was tweeting with.
But as is wont to happen with Twitter fights, the interaction caught a lot of press attention, and Berrian did not come out looking very good. Ufford took the opportunity to pen a blog post on the incident in which he pondered why Berrian has it out for Iraq vets. He also included some fake tweets scolding Berrian from the Pope and "a puppy."
Today, Ufford blogged that he has removed the post because Berrian's people have contacted him, threatening legal action. He says in their original letter, a publicist wrote that his post was "highly inaccurate," "defamatory" and "damaging" to Berrian's public image.
Ufford says he wrote back trying to appeal to the lawyer's funny bone and also made the point that he, too, is a veteran:
My post about your client was "highly inaccurate" because it is very obviously satire and part of my freedom of speech protected under the First Amendment. Frankly, I find it hard to believe that anyone would sincerely believe that the Pope and the Dalai Lama and a puppy would tweet your client.
Ufford writes that he was threatened again, and his offer to reprint an unedited Berrian rebuttal was rebuffed. He ultimately decided to remove the post to avoid a lawsuit.
"I just find it baffling that a starting wide receiver in the NFL would knowledgeably move forward with frivolous legal action against an Iraq veteran just days after telling a vet in a wheelchair to sit down and shut up," Ufford concludes his post. "I'm going to hate Bernard Berrian forever."
He -- of course -- also took his thoughts to Twitter:
@mattufford: Bernard Berrian goes after his second Iraq veteran in a week. Man, what's with this guy?
We can only hope it escalates from there.
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