At some point, professional athletes will learn to think before posting something on social media. That time has not yet come.
Los Angeles Clippers forward Matt Barnes is the latest player to post a message on Twitter that he would later regret. After being ejected in the first half of his team's game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday, the veteran sent out this tweet, which was captured and censored by Sean Highkin of For The Win:
The message has since been deleted, but that does not remove the controversy of him using profane language (warning: NSFW) on social media.
Barnes later took to his account to apologize for the outburst after his ejection:
Not only on the court, but off.. I was completely wrong for pushing Ibaka & then for what I tweeted following the altercation.. "Cont"— Matt Barnes (@Matt_Barnes22) November 14, 2013
Despite his apology, Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times is reporting that Barnes was fined $25,000:
Matt Barnes fined $25,000 by NBA for offensive language on Twitter, sources.— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) November 14, 2013
Not only that, but Turner reports the Clippers are looking into taking more severe measures against Barnes:
Clippers also looking into suspendng Barnes, sources.— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) November 14, 2013
All of this stems from an incident that occurred early against the Thunder. With only a few seconds remaining in the second quarter, Thunder forward Serge Ibaka gave what appeared to be a late shove on Clippers star Blake Griffin as the two were tied up.
Barnes took exception to that and ended up pushing Ibaka, starting a scuffle between the two teams. Both players were subsequently ejected.
After the Clippers' 111-103 win, Doc Rivers answered questions about the incident and resulting tweet. According to Arash Markazi of ESPN Los Angeles, the head coach was mostly understanding about it:
"I think he's very emotional and down that he got thrown out," Clippers coach Doc Rivers said of Barnes' online outburst. "I get that part but the choice of words obviously, that's not a word I'm a fan of in all venues."
Griffin had nothing but support for Barnes.
"We appreciate what Matt does for us, and he's a great teammate," Griffin said. "We've got his back, and he's got ours."
Chris Paul also came to Barnes' defense.
"One of the best teammates I've ever had. Matt has a big heart. He goes out there and competes every night. Not scared of nothing."
Barnes has been on eight different teams in his 11-year NBA career and has found a way to contribute at every stop along the way. Despite his questionable tweet, he still seems to have the support of his Clippers teammates.
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