Sports

Minnesota lawmaker whose NBA-related tweet drew criticism known for feisty nature online, off

In this May 3, 2013 photo, Minnesota Republican Rep. Pat Garofalo is shown at the State Capitol in St. Paul, Minn. Garofalo sent a tweet Sunday, March 9, 2014 that read: "Let's be honest, 70% of teams in NBA could fold tomorrow + nobody would notice a difference w/ possible exception of increase in streetcrime." Within two hours of his tweet, more than 600 people retweeted it , with many on social media calling it racist. (AP Photo/Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Glen Stubbe)

In this May 3, 2013 photo, Minnesota Republican Rep. Pat Garofalo is shown at the State Capitol in St. Paul, Minn. Garofalo sent a tweet Sunday, March 9, 2014 that read: "Let's be honest, 70% of teams in NBA could fold tomorrow + nobody would notice a difference w/ possible exception of increase in streetcrime." Within two hours of his tweet, more than 600 people retweeted it , with many on social media calling it racist. (AP Photo/Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Glen Stubbe)  (The Associated Press)

The Minnesota legislator whose NBA-related tweet aroused cries of racism this weekend isn't backing down.

Five-term Republican Rep. Pat Garofalo has faced an avalanche of criticism for suggesting there would be more street crime if teams in the professional basketball league folded. About three-fourths of the NBA's players are black.

Garofalo sought to clarify the remark Monday in a text message to The Associated Press. He says he meant to convey that pro sports leagues have a problem with athletes obeying the law and that his tweet transcended race.

He declined to be interviewed further.

Garofalo represents a district south of the Twin Cities and is seeking a sixth term in the fall.