Rep. Garofalo apologizes for categorizing NBA players in tweet - KMSP-TV

Rep. Garofalo apologizes for categorizing NBA players in tweet

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -

A tweet sent by Rep. Pat Garofalo (R-Farmington) prompted the politician to issue an apology on Monday after allegations of racism and furious responses followed his NBA commentary.

His tweet sent shortly after 6:30 p.m. on Sunday read:

@PatGarofalo "Let's be honest, 70% of teams in NBA could fold tomorrow + nobody would notice a difference w/ possible exception of increase in streetcrime."

"I was talking about the NBA's high arrest rate and that their punishment for positive drugs tests are weaker than other leagues," Garofalo said. "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," Garofalo said in an email to Buzzfeed.

On Monday, Rep. Garofalo released the following statement:

"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."

His original tweet prompted more than 1,514 retweets, hundreds of comments and allegations of racism. That may be because more than 75 percent of NBA players are black.

After his statement was released, he took to Twitter with a different message:

@PatGarofalo "To those NBA players and others who are unfairly categorized by my comments, please accept my apologies."

At a hearing on energy policy he was scheduled to attend Monday, Garofalo said he's gotten death threats over his original tweet.

"I don't have a racist bone in my body," he said.

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