When President Obama took over the nation’s airwaves at the beginning of this weekend’s Sunday Night Football game to give a speech at the memorial for victim’s of last Friday’s shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Twitter exploded with angry tweets from people with clearly misguided priorities.
Among them was former North Alabama long snapper Bradley Patterson, who referred to the president using the N-word while clamoring for the New England Patriots - San Francisco 49ers game to come back on.
Patterson was, unfortunately, far from the only Twitter user to use the derogatory term while complaining about the address pre-empting the football game, but unlike many others, he’s paying the price for it.
Hours after posting the Tweet, which got top billing on Deadspin’s round up of racist reactions to Obama’s speech, North Alabama confirmed that the player was no longer part of the football program.
A team official confirmed that Patterson, an “uninvited walk-on” who joined the team four games into the season, had been removed from the team.
UNA Athletic Director Mark Linder sent out the following tweet from the athletic department’s Twitter handle:
Thx 2 everyone who brought the inappropriate tweet to our attention. @unaathletics does not condone. He is no longer a member of the team.
— Mark Linder (@UNAAthletics) December 17, 2012
That tweet has already been favorited 45 times and has received many positive responses from rational Internet users who understand that there are some things in life more important than football, and that it’s unacceptable to go off on racist rants about the president.
Another UNA player, wide receiver Tim Smith, responded to Patterson’s tweet on Monday:
— Tim (@Young_Timmy_Tim) December 17, 2012
The account Patterson used to send out the offensive tweet (@2A_HogOfTheYear) has been deleted, but not before it – and too many others like it – exposed an ugly, racist side to many NFL fans.
It’s just a shame that the majority of the people who used the N-word to describe the president, who, let’s not forget, was on television to address the second-worst school shooting in our nation’s history, won’t face any consequences.
After the devastation in Newtown, CT on Friday, many people said something needs to change, that the events need to be a wake up call for our society.
If there’s anything that shows just how off-base our nation’s priorities are, it’s legions of Twitter users berating Obama for interrupting a football game to make a statement about the massacred children.
There are many things more important in life than football. In the aftermath of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, you’d think we might’ve realized that.