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August 27, 2014

Minnesota Rep. Pat Garofalo’s tweet about NBA causes outcry

Republican State Rep. Pat Garofalo created quite a stir Sunday on social media with a tweet he sent out regarding pro basketball players, which some considered racist.

Among the national sites that picked up on the tweet were Jezebel, Deadspin and Gawker.

Within a few hours, hundreds of people had retweeted the message or responded to it, according to KARE 11. Some respondents called Garofalo’s comments racist.

One of those responses came from Ryan Vernosh, who was named Minnesota’s Teacher of the Year in 2010.

 

Garofalo engaged in Twitter conversations with some critics.

When asked about his tweet, Garofalo said he was “talking about NBA’s high arrest rate and that they are the only major pro league that testing positive for marijuana is not a substance abuse violation,” according to the Star Tribune.  “No intent beyond that,” he said.

Garofalo told KSTP he rejects that any criticism of professional athletes is racist. He told KSTP he was taking a jab at the notion that athletes are above the law.

Garofalo, from Farmington, has served in the Legislature since 2004.