Democratic state Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon, who represents the 34th Legislative District, which includes the western parts of Seattle, Wash. described the state of Arizona with some unflattering terms on Sunday via Twitter after the Seattle Seahawks were defeated by the Arizona Cardinals in a football game.
Shortly after the game was over, Fitzgibbon tweeted:
“Losing a football game sucks. Losing to a desert racist wasteland sucks a lot.”
Fitzgibbon would eventually delete his tweet and tried to play down the event.
“If folks are going to take that too seriously, then I'm sorry about that.”
Washington state Republican Rep. J.T. Wilcox tweeted in response to Fitzgibbon saying that his (Fitzgibbon’s) actions have made “us all look bad,” which seems to imply that it reflects poorly on the entire state of Washington.
So in light of Fitzgibbon’s comments about a wasted, desert of racism in Arizona, it is kind of reminiscent of the advice that Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski gave to President Obama back in 2009 based on the president’s tendency to dabble in the world of fans who love to sit around and immerse themselves in sports.
In March of 2009 in preparation for the annual, March Madness, NCAA tournament, Obama picked North Carolina to defeat Louisville in the championship game, while excluding Krzyzewski’s Duke Blue Devils.
An angry Krzyzewski responded to Obama’s sports/fan rhetoric.
“Somebody said that we're not in President Obama's Final Four, and as much as I respect what he's doing, really, the economy is something that he should focus on, probably more than the brackets.”
And even though Obama was only filling out his March Madness, basketball bracket like millions of other people were also doing, it pales in comparison to Fitzgibbon’s remarks. Fitzgibbon mixed politics and sports. Obama simply filled brackets.
But in the case of Fitzgibbon, Krzyzewski’s advice seems to be just what the doctor ordered, because there are more important things that Fitzgibbon should be focused on besides taking political potshots at the region of his favorite sports team’s current opponent on that particular Sunday, because his team lost.
It’s just a football game. Does it matter that Fitzgibbon’s Seahawks lost one game to a divisional rival that just happens to reside in what Fitzgibbon described, supposedly jokingly, as a “racist, desert, wasteland?” Would the loss be less painful if Fitzgibbon’s Seahawks had lost to some other team with a much more likable political backdrop? The answer to that question is probably not, and Fitzgibbon knows it!
Now Fitzgibbon claimed that he believes that the people in the state of Washington are not concerned enough about the racism in the immigration battle that looms heavily in places like Arizona, but the Seahawks ability or inability to win a football game cannot help him with that.
So which one was it for Fitzgibbon? Was he really just joking around, or was he seriously trying to raise awareness? Either way, it appears that he has failed at both.
And furthermore, screen grabbing technology is out there, so trying to go back and delete a tweet or a post might offer little help. And nothing indicates that someone has tweeted or posted something that they probably shouldn’t have like when that person willingly tries to remove it or is forced to remove it.