American hurdler Lolo Jones has gotten a lot of unfair criticism over the past year. For whatever reason, the media -- and some of Jones’ own teammates -- turned the general public’s interest in her and her story into a character flaw that she was personally responsible for.
It didn't make sense then, and it doesn't make sense now.
All of that said, the criticism she is getting today is very, very fair.
Yesterday, Eric LeGrand (a former Rutgers football player who was paralyzed in 2010) sent her this tweet: “want to race me?”
Jones’ response, as you can probably guess, was less than great: “Get Checked for a concussion. Clearly, u've been hit in the head... Cos u arnt beating a track athlete.”
LeGrand didn’t bother setting Jones straight, but one of her followers did.
@finae25: “u know he's a quadrapalegic now?”
And this next bit is why Jones deserves every little piece of flak she will get today. Rather than apologizing for making an unfortunate yet totally understandable mistake, she said this:
“No, dnt know. sry dont know every football player. He challenged me 2 a race & I responded."
"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.”
Hands down, the single most moronic response she could have come up with in that situation. Instead of making the situation right, she went on the defensive and turned herself into the victim. Amazing. Narcissist to the 100th power.
For his part, LeGrand was all class throughout this entire regrettable fiasco: "didnt take it personal, understand where ur coming from. All good," he wrote
Again, Jones has taken a lot of undeserved heat over the past year – there is no denying that. But being the victim of bad press doesn’t give you a green light to be a petulant, selfish brat.
She may be 30 years old, but Lolo still has a lot of growing up to do.
(Kudos New York Daily News)