A Minnesota state representative found himself in hot water early this week after sending out a tweet suggesting that crime would increase should the NBA cease to exist.

Pat Garofalo (below), a Republican from Farmington, Minn., sent out the message in question:


Almost immediately Garofalo's tweet was met with serious backlash. Some on Twitter questioned whether the tweet had racial undertones, while others were simply stunned by his misunderstanding of NBA policy.


Garofalo initially defended his remark to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, saying 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. No intent beyond that."

It seems, however, that he is wrong about both of those arguments. Kevin Draper of "The Diss" dismantles Garofalo's claims that the NBA has a relatively high arrest and that it has lax drug testing. Draper notes that in 2012, the NBA's arrest rate (between 1.1 percent and 1.3 percent) was several times lower than the national average (3.8 percent).

Perhaps not surprisingly, Garofalo backtracked significantly in a statement released on Monday:

“In the last 24 hours, I’ve had the opportunity to re-learn one of life’s lessons: whenever any of us are offering opinions, it is best to refer to people as individuals as opposed to groups. Last night, I publicly commented on the NBA and I sincerely apologize to those who I unfairly categorized. The NBA has many examples of players and owners who are role models for our communities and for our country. Those individuals did not deserve that criticism and I apologize. In addition, it’s been brought to my attention that I was mistaken and the NBA policy on drug enforcement is stronger than I previously believed. Again, I offer my sincere apologies for my comments."

In a small twist of irony, one of Garofalo's followers pointed out that politics isn't exactly a profession full of choir boys.


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