Lolo Jones Accidentally Talks Smack to Paralyzed Rutgers Football Player

Illustration for article titled Lolo Jones Accidentally Talks Smack to Paralyzed Rutgers Football Player

Olympic hurdler Lolo Jones who, let's be honest, really can't catch a fucking break, accidentally wandered into a whole bog of Twitter quicksand when she responded to former Rutgers defensive tackle Eric LeGrand's jocular challenge to race. After LeGrand tweeted "want to race me?," Jones answered, "Get Checked for a concussion. Clearly, u've been hit in the head... Cos u arnt beating a track athlete," which would have been a topical insult to hurl at a football player, except that LeGrand, as a Twitter maelstrom was about to reveal to Jones, had been paralyzed during his college football career.


Yikes, right? Tweeters descended on Jones faster than a pack of roving hyenas on a lost cheetah cub (yay, NatGeo imagery!), prompting Jones to issue a cringing follow-up: "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." It didn't matter at that point — shark in the water, cage in the water, person in the cage...farewell and adieu to my fair Spanish ladies, as they say in the moving pictures. For LeGrand's part, he immediately recognized how completely unfair it was for Jones to take so much heat, calling the public outcry to Jones' mis-tweet "ridiculous," adding that "[Jones] is a great person who misunderstood what I tweeted. People stop bashing her it's not right."

After breaking two vertebrae and suffering a serious spinal cord injury during a kickoff (kickoffs are seriously dangerous) in a 2010 game against Army, LeGrand signed a symbolic free agent contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who are now coached by LeGrand's coach when he played at Rutgers, Greg Schiano. His Twitter bio, notes the Daily News simply describes him as a "Defensive Tackle for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers," and LeGrand pointed out that, if Jones was tweeting with her phone, it'd be hard to see that his profile picture shows him in a wheelchair. So, for anyone still giving Lolo Jones a hard time about this, it seems like a good opportunity to insist that we all leave Lolo alone.

Lolo Jones stirs controversy with tweet to former Rutgers football player Eric LeGrand [NYDN]



I'm mostly just confused by this incident. Is there more background to this story? Why did a paralyzed football player challenge an Olympic hurdler to a race? Was it a cheesy pickup line gone awry?