Weeding Out…The Inaccuracies!

I cannot say that I am shocked, not even surprised.  Nearly a decade and a half into the 21st Century, that an established major Party elected politician might not only tweet, but also defend these comments:

• “Let’s be honest, 70% of teams in NBA could fold tomorrow + nobody would notice a difference w/ possible exception of increase in streetcrime.”

Sadly, such mischaracterizations have become par for the course.  In recent years, a flurry of politicos have bolstered their conservative bona fides and political cred by uttering biting, if not bigoted and spiteful remarks targeted at or based upon someone’s ethnic group, sexual preference, or gender designation.  Suffice it so say, the NBA is an easy target for such ad hominem attacks.  The League’s employees are all male, and the vast majority of them are black.  Oh yes, by even the most generous of standards they are wealthy.  So, who would possibly fell compelled to rally in their defense?  Well, if the attack is an open rant on Twitter, almost anyone might respond.

Pat Garofalo is a Minnesotan, an elected politician (Minnesota House of Representatives), a member of the Republican Party, and a member of the Twitterverse.  At 7:33 p.m. Central Time (Minnesota) this past Sunday evening, Mr. Garofalo tweeted the bulleted comment above.

The tweet resonated; it was re-tweeted hundreds of times within a two-hour period.  A number of folks on Twitter called the comment racist.  Undaunted by the push back and possibly buttressed by individuals who co-signed and or supported the remarks, Mr. Garofalo defended them.

He said he was:

• “Talking about the 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.”

If that is what you want to believe, it may sound good.  Sound good, or not, it is an inaccurate assertion.  The truth is the NBA’s arrest rate is below the national average. Moreover, the evil pot meme is melting away like the winter’s snow throughout the Southeast.  Marijuana is a legalized substance in two states, is widely available for medical use in another 18 states, and is a minor offense in most states.

It took a while, but the facts actually finally made their way to the Mr. Garofalo.  Subsequently, he apologized for the tweet on Monday.

He said in a statement:

• “I was under the mistaken impression that the National Basketball Association did not test for marijuana. In fact, that is false…That is a drug policy violation and something that’s clearly stated in their collective bargaining agreement.”

You can read the NBA’s anti-drug policy, which specifically mentions marijuana, here.

In summary, this was a story with a happy-ending.  In the span of just one day, an ill-conceived remark was tweeted, vetted, and rescinded.  This was a great example of “Weeding Out…The Inaccuracies!”  If only it were always that simple, and quick.

I’m done; holla back!

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