Lolo Jones insensitively tweets at quadriplegic former football player Eric LeGrand
Lolo Jones, it's time to insert your foot firmly in your mouth.
The Olympic hurdler got herself into a bit of trouble yesterday when she accidentally sent an insensitive tweet to former Rutgers defensive lineman Eric LeGrand. The 22-year-old was paralyzed from the neck down after he suffered a spinal injury during a 2010 football game, but he has since made a career as a motivational speaker and author and frequently reaches out to his fans via Twitter. That's why his innocent tweet to Jones Tuesday night wasn't out of character.
"@lolojones want to race me?" he tweeted.
Cute, right? The only problem is that Jones was unaware that LeGrand was paralyzed and only knew him from his football career. Cue her response: "Get Checked for a concussion. Clearly, u've been hit in the head... Cos u arnt beating a track athlete."
It didn't take long for Jones to realize her mistake. She quickly admitted that she didn't know about LeGrand's condition, and was clearly on the defensive about it.
"Great 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," she wrote.
Jones then turned to Yahoo Sports to clarify the situation.
"I'm truly sorry if I offended anyone by my tweet," Jones says. "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."
Fortunately it doesn't seem like there are any hard feelings. LeGrand was quick to tweet, "didnt take it personal, understand where ur coming from. All good," to which Jones responded, "Thx. Getting trashed by tons of ppl glad ur not one of em." Still, the lesson here is to take a little more care with what and to whom you're tweeting, though we thought Ashton Kutcher taught us all that earlier this year.