Updated: 03/10/2014 5:27 AM
Created: 03/09/2014 9:33 PM KSTP.com
By: Leslie Dyste
A Minnesota lawmaker's tweet is getting a lot of attention.
On Sunday at 6:33 p.m. Republican representative Pat Garofalo of Farmington sent the following tweet via Twitter:
"Let's be honest, 70% of teams in NBA could fold tomorrow + nobody would notice a difference w/ possible exception of increase in streetcrime"— Rep. Pat Garofalo (@PatGarofalo) March 9, 2014
Twitter users are responding, saying Garofalo's statement has racist undertones.
Garofalo tells KSTP he was referring to player arrests, and the fact that in the NBA, players caught using marijuana are not suspended until their third offense.
He tells KSTP he rejects the notion that any criticism of professional athletes is racist. He said there is an elitism that transcends race and a sense that athletes are above the law.
KSTP checked the NBA statute on marijuana. It reads, "If a player tests positive for marijuana during Random Testing or Reasonable Cause Testing, or he is convicted of, or pleads guilty, nolo contendere or no contest to, the use or possession of marijuana in violation of the law, he will be required to enter the Marijuana Program. A second positive test for marijuana will result in a $25,000 fine and the player's re-entry into the Marijuana Program. A third positive test for marijuana will result in a five-game suspension and the player's re-entry into the Marijuana Program. A fourth (or any subsequent) positive test for marijuana will result in a suspension that is five (5) games longer than the player's immediately-preceding suspension."
As of 9:40 p.m. Sunday, Garofalo's tweet had been retweeted 757 times.