*A Minnesota legislator sees nothing racist about his tweet suggesting that the NBA, (in which three-fourths of the players are black), is full of criminals.
Rep. Pat Garofalo, a fifth-term Republican from Farmington, tweeted Sunday night: “Let’s be honest, 70% of teams in NBA could fold tomorrow + nobody would notice a difference w/ possible exception of increase in streetcrime.”
His post has drawn hundreds of comments — some branding him a racist and others using statistics to rebut the idea of rampant violations in the NBA compared to American society in general — and been retweeted more than 1,100 times. Ken Martin, chairman of the Minnesota Democratic Party, took to his own Twitter account to call Garofalo’s post “incredibly racist.”
Garofalo, 42, has not backed down from his tweets. He said in a text message to The Associated Press Monday, “Pro sports leagues have a problem with some of their athletes obeying the law. This problem transcends race and is a symptom of the value athletes believe society puts on their athletic talent.”
The blunt commentary is nothing new for Garofalo, who regularly makes sharp-tongued speeches on the Minnesota House floor and even edgier remarks online.