UPDATE: Monday, March 10, at 4:25 p.m. ET
Garofalo has issued a statement apologizing for his tweets regarding the NBA.
The representative posted the following press release apology to the Minnesota House of Representatives website:
In the last 24 hours, I've had the opportunity to re-learn one of life's lessons: whenever any of us are offering public 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 do not deserve that criticism and I apologize. In additions, its 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.
---End of Update---
If the majority of NBA players were to hang up their kicks tomorrow, Pat Garofalo wouldn’t mind.
Judging by the tweet the Minnesota state representative sent out on Sunday night, the only negative effect of an NBA shutdown would be a spike in crime.
The controversial tweet was spotted by Samer Kalaf of Deadspin.
Deadspin reached out to the Minnesota Republican for comment via email. Garofalo maintains that he was commenting on the NBA’s high arrest rate and the “above the law” attitude professional athletes tend to harbor.
“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,” Garofalo wrote in an email to Deadspin. “The culture among many pro athletes that they are above the law is the problem, not people like me pointing that problem out.”
Many Twitter users saw Garofalo’s comments as racially tinged.
While Garofalo claims he didn’t mean to single any one race out, TideSport.org’s 2013 Racial and Gender Report Card found that 76 percent of NBA players are African-American. You can draw your own conclusions.
Regardless of intent, Garofalo has stirred the hornet’s nest. He doesn’t seem to especially mind, as he appears to have a longstanding beef with the NBA.
Perhaps the good representative from Minnesota is “sports-ist,” in which case he should remember: Timberwolves fans vote too.
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