Basketball superstar Dwight Howard’s foray into commentary on the crisis in the Middle East only lasted about 15 minutes. However, that was more than long enough to make headlines and draw the ire of thousands of twitter users.
Later that day, he tweeted “previous tweet was a mistake. I have never commented on international politics and never will.”
previous tweet was a mistake. I have never commented on international politics and never will. — Dwight Howard (@DwightHoward) July 12, 2014
Nevertheless, the backlash was swift.
Morton Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America, said that he should be “publicly condemned as strong as Donald Sterling was,” a reference to the Los Angeles Clippers owner who came under withering attack for disparaging remarks about black people.
Omri Casspi – a teammate of Howard’s last year on the Houston Rockets and the only Israeli player to ever be drafted and play in the NBA – responded to Howard’s tweet on Saturday.
600 missiles been fired from GAZA by Hamas in the last 4 days. NUMBERS DONT LIE. STOP LYING. — Omri Casspi (@Casspi18) July 12, 2014
Casspi had also been vocal on Twitter during the #bringbackourboys campaign during the search for the three kidnapped Israeli teenagers.
Howard, who believes himself to be God’s messenger in the NBA, seems to have quickly learned the consequences of political commentary.
I apologize if I offended anyone with my previous tweet, it was a mistake! — Dwight Howard (@DwightHoward) July 12, 2014