(Original story from ESPN New York here.)
Ok, here is the deal: Even if you think that someone (or a group of people) is being punished by God, please keep your thoughts to yourself. Most people do not appreciate such a suggestion and those who agree with you are highly unlikely to echo your warped views or to defend you in public.
Also, please be mindful of derogatory terms when referring to people. Such terms smack of bigotry and intolerance.
Fortunately, Pondexter was given a chance to show her remorse. Let us hope she learns her lesson. Let us all learn from her lesson too!
Updated: March 14, 2011, 7:39 PM ET
Cappie Pondexter sorry for tweets
By Mike Mazzeo
New York Liberty guard Cappie Pondexter has apologized after causing an Internet uproar with comments on her Twitter account that were deemed insensitive toward victims of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami.
On Saturday, Pondexter tweeted: “What if God was tired of the way they treated their own people in there own country! Idk guys he makes no mistakes.”
She later tweeted: “u just never knw! They did pearl harbor so u can’t expect anything less.”
Pondexter also used the racially derogatory term “jap,” when referring to someone who was offended by her comments.
On Monday morning, Pondexter issued an apology on her verified Twitter account “cappa23.”
“I wanna apologize to anyone I may hurt or offended during this tragic time,” the tweet said. “I didn’t realize that my words could be interpreted in the manner which they were. People that knw me would tell u 1st hand I’m a very spiritual person and believe that everything, even disasters happen 4 a reason and that God will shouldn’t be questioned but this is a very sensitive subject at a very tragic time and I shouldn’t even have given a reason for the choice of words I used.
“The least thing I wanted was to hurt or offend anyone so again I truly apologize. If you’ve lost respect for me that’s totally fine but please don’t let me or my words lose the respect of u the WNBA and what it stands for.
“I’m very strong woman evn strong enough 2 admit an apologize when I’m wrong. Twitter is a voice and wth tht I wanna apologize again.”
The Anti-Defamation League in New York issued a statement on Pondexter’s remarks.
“Cappie Pondexter’s words show the endurance of long-held bigoted and prejudiced attitudes toward the Japanese, even from young Americans in today’s society whose only knowledge of the Second World War comes from history books and popular culture,” Anti-Defamation League national director Abraham H. Foxman said.
“While it is encouraging that Pondexter felt enough remorse to apologize for her insensitive and prejudicial words, the apology did not go far enough. The notion that God would punish an entire country because of some assumed moral or spiritual defect is, in fact, another form of intolerance. Pondexter needs to understand why her words were so painful, and why it is prejudiced to suggest that one people may be inferior to another in the eyes of God.”
The Liberty responded to a request for comment from ESPNNewYork.com.
“We have spoken to Cappie and the content of that conversation will remain internal,” the team said. “She made a mistake and quickly apologized for that mistake. We will have no further comment.”
The WNBA declined to comment on Pondexter’s tweets.
Pondexter, a four-year pro, averaged a career-best 21.4 points per game for the Liberty last season.