NBA Ref Sues AP Reporter for a Tweet
NBA Ref Bill Spooner has sued the Associated Press and AP reporter Jon Krawczynski for defamation. Spooner claims that a Tweet led to a disciplinary investigation by the NBA and that his professional reputation has been hurt. However, Tim Frank, the NBA’s SVP for basketball communication said after the investigation about the Tweet, “found it to be without substance, and informed Mr. Spooner that we considered the matter closed.”
It’s a case of he said, he said…on Twitter. He (Krawczynski) said that he (Spooner) said he would make-up for a bad call with another call to even out the error, a make-up call. The initial call was against the Minnesota Timberwolves and the second bad call was against the Rockets. The Rockets went on to win the game 129-125.
Let’s set aside the fact that “make-up” calls even exist in the NBA. In games that are as close as this one, obviously one bad call could have a huge impact. What’s interesting is that Spooner has chosen to take such drastic action against a reporter that didn’t have much of a following on Twitter (last time I checked today @APKrawczynski had 2,044 followers) and the fact that the NBA didn’t react negatively to the Tweet either.
Now due to the lawsuit, Spooner has created some attention on the fact that Twitter and other similar sites make it easy for anyone to broadcast unverified reports. Not that this lawsuit will keep most people from posting false claims for fear of defamation but it should make reporters and anyone with some kind of influence think twice about making such a strong accusation without some kind of proof or credible sources. Is this a “game changer for citizen journalist and pros” as Darren Rovell Tweeted?
Read full details about the lawsuit on Espn.com.