I’m not an Indiana Pacers fan at the best of times, but if there’s one thing that’s going to guarantee I won’t be watching their games any time soon, it’s the recent ramblings of shooting guard Paul George.
I’m willing to let go the fact that, at 24, he is just a baby. However, that’s old enough to know that if you’re in the public eye, particularly in a sport which has attracted so much media controversy of late, you probably shouldn’t be taking to social media to air your views about domestic violence.
Especially if it sounds like you’re condoning it.
Last month, the 2 X NBA all-star took to Twitter to make a series of controversial tweets surrounding the Ray Rice case. In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past year, the case centers around former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, who was caught on video tape knocking his fiancée unconscious and dragging her out of an elevator in February.
Officials at the NFL initially gave Rice a two-game ban, much to the ire of American football fans and anti-domestic violence groups everywhere. After the media backlash, Rice’s case was reviewed and he has now been given an indefinite suspension. His fiancée, Janay Palmer, on the other hand, has since become his wife.
While Ms Palmer’s decisions may have shocked some, Paul George only served to add fuel to the fire with his tweets. He told his 919,000 followers: (no doubt much fewer after the tweets) “If you in a relationship and a woman hit you first and attacking YOU.. Then you obviously ain’t beatin HER. Homie made A bad choice!” [sic]
Referring to the Ray Rice case specifically, he also tweeted: “Keep it 100 lets act on this police violence like we actin on this Ray Rice case! Stay strong homie !” [sic]
Paul George may regret his comments and he was quick to defend his words, telling fans: “Let me apologize to the women and to the VICTIMS of domestic violence people my intent was not to downplay the situation…” Understandably, his tweets have since been deleted. Whether or not George meant to cause offense, he showed a clear lack of thinking and his comments will not be forgotten in a hurry by victims.
On the other hand, the general public are incredibly fickle – one minute we’re addressing the Ray Rice issue and the next we’re needlessly fixating on George Clooney’s wedding. George may have simply been aware of people’s short attention spans when composing the tweets.
Whatever the reason though, suffice to say I won’t be getting Pacers tickets any time soon.