LeGrand, whose profile does not indicate that he is confined to a wheelchair, apparently jokingly challenged Jones to a race, and that sparked Jones’ response that read: “Get Checked for a concussion. Clearly, you’ve been hit in the head. . . Cos you arnt beating a track athlete. . . ”
That’s when Twitter went wild. Soon, Jones realized her gaffe when someone Tweeted to her: “You know he’s a quadrapalegic now?’
“No. Dnt know. Sry. Dont know every football player,” Jones replied. “He challenged me to a race and I responded. . . ”
Then she Tweeted: “I’m gonna get murdered for that Tweet. When I had no clue who that dude was. Just responding to any athlete who challenges me to a race.”
Even later, Jones acknowledged that she was “getting trashed by tons of people.”
Give her credit for trying to minimize the damage and not let it just fade away. She sent a statement to Yahoo! Sports that read: “I’m truly sorry if I offended anyone by my tweet. When Eric challenged me to a race earlier all I knew was that he was a football player, but certainly had no idea he had become paralyzed from a football injury. I thought I was tweeting in good fun like I always do with the many athletes who challenge me to races.”
LeGrand has been magnanimous, Tweeting: “Sorry for all this crazy stuff being said. Much respect for you” and “this is wild did not know this was going to happen. You have a supporter in me for sure.”
Since being paralyzed two years ago, he has stood on his own, led the the Rutgers football team onto the field for a game in 2011, been given the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance at the ESPYs, vowed to walk again and been an quite a brave and inspiring man.
You can bet Jones will do a little more research when tempted with an aggressive response. Or, at least, that’s the hope.