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Republican lawmaker sends seemingly racist tweet about NBA, claims it's not racist

Minnesota House of Representatives

Minnesota State Rep. Pat Garofalo (R) opined Sunday evening on the potential impact of condensing the National Basketball Association:

Garofalo later clarified to the Minneapolis Star Tribune that 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."

However, the NBA's arrest rate isn't too far off from that of the public as a whole. (Deadspin estimated it to actually be lower than the national average.) And citing a lax marijuana testing policy to support a claim about street crime is an illogical leap stemming from the same sort of mentality that ascribes the word "thugs" to brash athletes. As Richard Sherman aptly put it when people freaked out about his post-game rant in the NFL playoffs, thug is "an accepted way of calling somebody the N-word."