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Minnesota Lawmaker Slammed For Racist NBA Tweet

A Minnesota lawmaker has been condemned on Twitter for his highly racist tweet regarding NBA athletes and crime. Pat Garofalo, a Republican representative from Farmington, Minn., tweeted last night and said “let’s be honest, 70% of teams in NBA could fold tomorrow + nobody would notice a difference w/ possible exception of increase in streetcrime.” The racist tweet has since spread and gone viral on the social media site.

“The racial and racist undertones in this comment is beyond alarming,” tweeted Ryan Vernosh, who was named Minnesota Teacher of the Year in 2010. Another Twitter user, @BBallJenky, slammed Garofalo for the comment and said that “there’s more criminals in your profession than the nba buddy.” When someone informed Garofalo that crime rates were higher in the NFL than the NBA, he responded by telling the Twitter user that “NFL rosters are almost 5 times larger.”

After sleeping on it, Garofalo still isn’t backing down from the racist tweet. “I reject that any criticism of athletes and their conduct is somehow racist. I was talking about the NBA’s high arrest rate,” he said. “I really don’t understand how being critical of a culture of pro athletes has anything to do with race. This is a behavior that transcends the race of the athlete, and it seems to be a culture in all professional sports these days.”

Earlier this afternoon, he told Deadspin via e-mail that “the culture among many pro athletes that they are above the law is the problem, not people like me pointing that problem out.”

(Photo: Minnesota House)

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