MNGOP Rep. Garofalo savaged for tweet linking NBA players to street criminals [UPDATE]
Garofalo: "Let's be honest, 70% of teams in NBA could fold tomorrow + nobody would notice a difference w/ possible exception of increase in streetcrime"
:::: UPDATE :::: Garofalo apologized for his tweet right around noon on Monday. Read his statement at the bottom of this post.
Rep. Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington, is getting blasted from one corner of the internet to the other for offering up an opinion about the NBA during last night's Timberwolves game that links the league's players to street criminals.
Since nearly 80 percent of NBA players are black, many are interpreting Garofalo's quip as having a racist subtext.
Here's Garofalo's tweet:
Let's be honest, 70% of teams in NBA could fold tomorrow + nobody would notice a difference w/ possible exception of increase in streetcrime
-- Rep. Pat Garofalo (@PatGarofalo) March 9, 2014
To give you a taste of how that was received, here are the first seven responses:
Garofalo's tweet was also condemned by DFL Chairman Ken Martin:
-- Ken Martin (@kenmartin73) March 10, 2014
It should be noted Garofalo has long been an outspoken NBA basher. Here are some of his hot sports takes:
As this is published, Garofalo hasn't deleted or apologized for the tweet. He and his legislative aide didn't immediately respond to our voicemail and an email seeking comment.
:::: UPDATE ::::
We still haven't heard back from Garofalo, but he did send this email to Deadspin:
Thanks for the email and for giving me a chance to respond. I was talking about the NBA's high arrest rate and that their punishment for positive drugs tests are weaker than other leagues. No intent beyond that. The culture among many pro athletes that they are above the law is the problem, not people like me pointing that problem out.
And he began his Monday with this tweet:
Sbarro's barely qualifies as 'pizza'. http://t.co/k2v11JXrjI
-- Rep. Pat Garofalo (@PatGarofalo) March 10, 2014
Garofalo still hasn't apologized.
:::: UPDATE II ::::
Around noon Monday, Garofalo released a statement apologizing for his tweet. Here it is in its entirety:
"In the last 24 hours, I've had the opportunity to re-learn one of life's lessons: whenever any of us are offering opinions, it is best to refer to people as individuals as opposed to groups. Last night, I publicly commented on the NBA and I sincerely apologize to those who I unfairly categorized. The NBA has many examples of players and owners who are role models for our communities and for our country. Those individuals did not deserve that criticism and I apologize. In addition, it's been brought to my attention that I was mistaken and the NBA policy on drug enforcement is stronger than I previously believed. Again, I offer my sincere apologies for my comments."
-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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