Minnesota Lawmaker Accused Of Racism For Linking NBA Athletes To Street Crime

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March 10, 2014 7:46 a.m.

A Minnesota lawmaker courted controversy on Sunday in a tweet that linked professional basketball players to street crime.

State Rep. Pat Garofalo (R) tweeted that there could be an uptick in crime if most of the NBA’s teams were to fold:

The tweet drew accusations of racism, and Garofalo responded to a few of his critics:

But the Republican lawmaker denied to Minneapolis TV station KARE that the tweet was racially charged.

“I was talking about the NBA’s high arrest rate,” Garofalo told the news station.

“I really don’t understand how being critical of a culture of pro athletes has anything to do with race,” he added. “This is a behavior that transcends the race of the athlete, and it seems to be a culture in all professional sports these days.”

h/t Gawker

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