Washington state lawmaker sorry for calling Arizona 'racist wasteland'

A Washington state lawmaker has apologized for calling Arizona a "racist wasteland" on Twitter -- in a moment of anger following a 17-10 loss by his beloved Seattle Seahawks to the Arizona Cardinals.

"Losing a football game sucks," Democratic Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon wrote in a now-deleted message. "Losing to a desert racist wasteland sucks a lot."

The comment drew outrage on Twitter and a series of rebukes from local Republicans. KING5 News reports that the lawmaker is backing down.

"Sometime I mix sports and politics too much in my own brain, and I made a point not very delicately," he said, according to KING5 News. "That was not a kind thing to say, and I'm sorry for what I said. It wasn't fair to most people in Arizona."

Fitzgibbon is among many Democrats still sore at Arizona for passing sweeping immigration enforcement legislation -- which was then copied by other states.

But he admitted he shouldn't have used a "broad brush" to make his point.

Fitzgibbon, who represents West Seattle, Burien, Vashon Island and White Center, had already started backpedaling before the latest remarks. He removed the original message a short time after it was posted and said he "shouldn't have conflated" the two topics.

"Upset re hawks loss, and failure of smart immigration reform--shouldn't have conflated the 2 though," he wrote. "Happy holidays, better for both in '14."

Fitzgibbon was first elected in 2010 and didn't face any opposition when he ran for re-election last year.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.