(UPDATE) Derrick Rose fans angry at Northwestern Football Tweet about Jeremy Lin

(UPDATE) Derrick Rose fans angry at Northwestern Football Tweet about Jeremy Lin

(UPDATE:) It’s rare to see a complimentary tweet stir up the blood the way this one has. A tweet previously mis-attributed to Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald admired newly minted New York Knicks star and ESPN pet of pets (yes, the fawning over there is greater than or equal to Tim Tebow level) Jeremy Lin. The tweet was actually made on Fitzgerald’s account by Cody Cejda, NU Director of Football Operations. And it has since (and wisely) been deleted by NU football. Cedja’s tweet makes broad sweeping negative generalizations about the NBA and it’s players. (You’ll see it multiple times in the responses and retweets below)

Yes, the tweet was made on Fitzgerald’s twitter account, but not by him.

This is damaging when you work for “Chicago’s Big Ten team,” and Chicago is the home to the current NBA MVP, Derrick Rose of the Bulls. A player who is as much of a gym rat as anyone.


Here are some incendiary twitter reactions:


I still love Northwestern football but SLAM and I had to unfolo @coachfitz51 after his RIDICULOUS tweet abt NBA players last night



DRose? RT “@coachfitz51: Officially on the Lin bandwagon. There’s finally a NBA player who plays hard &says the right things off the court.”



Translation: Fitz hates black people. RT @coachfitz51: There’s finally a NBA player who plays hard and says the right things off the court



@coachfitz51 Name ten basketball players.



FINALLY. LOL RACISM GO CATS RT @coachfitz51 Jeremy Lin. Finally a NBA player who plays hard and says the right things off the court.

However, most responses to this tweet have positive, and it’s had a lot of generic RTs, which are genuine co-sign statements. And some of these tweets have been from famous, powerful people.


Like former CBS and ESPN broadcaster Bonnie Bernstein who tweeted “Plenty of room, Pat! Hope ur well MT.” Or Michigan State Athletic Director Mark Hollis who tweeted:

Ageee RT @coachfitz51 Officially on the Jeremy Lin bandwagon. NBA player who plays hard and says the right things off the court.

I assume he meant to say “agree.” I included the original tweet each time in posting these retweets for the effect of repetition. Right now people are making assumptions on interpreting these tweeted comments, and the gamut runs all the way from “yes, what a great story this kid is, I like Jeremy Lin” to “you racist, what are you saying, the NBA is nothing but a bunch of lazy thugs?”

The answer of course, is somewhere in the middle. Everyone appreciates a good Horatio Alger story, and what’s more rags-to-riches than an undrafted NBA star who’s currently crashing on his brother’s couch? So I’m sure this tweet was simply most about admiring a great American success story.

However, degrading an entire league of personnel with such a sweeping generalization is gross negligence/ignorant at best. As someone who helps oversee the leadership of a team, how would Cedja he appreciate it if an NBA coach made a similar tweet about college football? What if someone who works in a NBA front office all of a sudden tweeted “Hey, I really like that Dan Persa, it’s about time someone in college football actually cares about the sport they play?

(UPDATE: According to Northwestern University spokesperson Doug Meffley: Being a Southside product, Fitz is a huge Chicago sports guy and big Derrick Rose fan…we want to make sure that fact is known!”

So to all those fans who unfollowed @coachfitz51, it’s safe to to get back on the Pat Fitzgerald bandwagon.)

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports

A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; and he’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.

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