NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — American hurdler Lolo Jones found herself in a rough spot Tuesday after responding to a tweet from paralyzed former Rutgers player Eric LeGrand.
LeGrand, who suffered a severe spinal cord injury at the Meadowlands in 2010, jokingly challenged Jones to a race via Twitter. Unaware of LeGrand or his history, Jones responded, “Get Checked for a concussion. Clearly, u’ve been hit in the head… Cos u arnt beating a track athlete.”
Jones backtracked in a series of tweets after being informed by one follower that LeGrand was “a quadrapalegic now.”
“No, dnt know. sry dont know every football player. He challenged me 2 a race & I responded,” Jones wrote.
“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 added. “Pretty upset about it. Since I had no clue who he was. He challenged me to a race. So I assumed he could actually race.”
Jones continued her defense, saying she couldn’t see LeGrand’s wheelchair in his profile photo. She also pointed to his profile, which described the inspirational ex-Rutgers player as a defensive end for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“I’m using a phone. My twitter photos are very small almost non view able. But judge as u want. I know my heart,” Jones responded to one Twitter user.
To another: “His profile doesn’t say ‘former’ blah, blah… it seems as if he was still an active player!!”
The storm may have been raging on Jones’ page, but LeGrand said he took no offense.
“Definitely did not take it personal, I understand exactly where you are coming from. All good over here,” he tweeted at the track star.
LeGrand was a junior when he suffered the devastating injury. This year’s crop of NFL rookies came from what would have been his draft class.
“Did not mean to start anything at all, sorry for all this crazy stuff being said. Much respect for you,” LeGrand wrote to Jones. “Yes this is wild did not know this was going to happen. You have a supporter in me for sure.”
Your thoughts on Jones’ initial tweet or her reaction to the reaction? Be heard in the comments below…