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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Lolo Jones inadvertently taunts paralyzed Eric LeGrand after being asked to race

Lolo Jones figured she was just responding to another boastful athlete when she challenged Eric LeGrand to a race, but she was left embarrassed and remorseful after learning the former Rutgers football player is paralyzed.

LeGrand is a former defensive tackle who was paralyzed after suffering a spinal cord injury during a Rutgers-Army game on Oct. 16, 2010. LeGrand has been in a wheelchair since then, but he’s remained in the public eye because of his positive attitude and inspirational response to the injury.

LeGrand happened to tweet at Jones on Tuesday, challenging the Olympic hurdler to a race:

Jones likely saw from LeGrand’s Twitter profile that he bills himself as a defensive tackle for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (his former Rutgers coach Greg Schiano signed him to a one-day contract with the team), and she began taunting him in response.

“Get Checked for a concussion,” she wrote back to LeGrand. “Clearly, u’ve been hit in the head… Cos u arnt beating a track athlete.”

Lolo then raised the stakes.

“I race for money or olympic medals… so how much u wanna wager? 40K? Just go ahead and write the check to Lolo S. Jones.”

Jones deleted both tweets after being informed that LeGrand is paralyzed. She then began her damage control.

LeGrand sympathized with Jones after seeing the backlash she received.

“definitely did not take it personal, I understand exactly where you are coming from. All good over here,” LeGrand wrote to her over Twitter. He even apologized to Jones, saying “did not mean to start anything at all, sorry for all this crazy stuff being said. Much respect for you.”

This will blow over quickly. We believe Jones when she says she did not know who LeGrand was and it’s clear she made a mistake. But she just learned the hard way that you need to be very careful about every response you send on Twitter.

Between this incident and what happened during the Olympics, maybe Jones needs to take a Twitter break, or think three times before she tweets anything.



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