Sometimes in life when you’re joking around, you take it too far. It takes a man to admit it and say, “I’m sorry.”
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White did exactly that on Thursday, apologizing to New Orleans for a remark he made about the city on Twitter.
“I’m sorry. I wasn’t trying to offend anybody with that stuff, especially the city of New Orleans,” White told reporters on Thursday. “Some people just take things out of context. That’s not where I was aiming at.”
White helped stoke the fire of the red-hot Atlanta Falcons-New Orleans Saints rivalry by responding to comments made by ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer on his @roddywhitetv Twitter account. Dilfer said that the Saints would beat the Falcons on Monday night at the Dome and defeat them if they took Atlanta on in the playoffs.
White responded by defending his team.
“No chance in hell the Aints come into the dome and win once Trent Dilfer,” he tweeted.
That ignited what started as a good-natured Twitter war with Saints fans, who take exception to any reference to the Aints – a moniker used to refer to the franchise’s not-so-glorious history. After taking a good amount of abuse from Who Dat Nation (and a tweet from Saints DE Will Smith that included a Super Bowl ring), White took things further.
“The grace of God gave them (that) championship so (that) city (wouldn’t) fall apart,” White wrote. “Now and now they think they hot #!@%*# in my Chad voice child please.”
That really got things heated up.
The affable Atlanta wide receiver was deluged with hate tweets back from Saints fans, calling into question his sexuality, calling him just about ever four-letter name in the book and even wishing physical harm.
“They don’t like me over there,” he told the AJC’s Jeff Schultz before adding that he’s glad Monday’s game against New Orleans is a home game because, “They (Saints fans) would probably throw some things at me. That would be bad.”
White knows that he may have (unintentionally) taken things too far.
“I wish I wouldn’t have said (that) about (the Saints) winning the Super Bowl and (the city),” he told Schultz. “I really didn’t say anything about the hurricane but they took it that way. I wasn’t trying to say anything mean about the city.”
“I’m a football player and this is a sports topic. Everybody took it like, ‘He hopes the city of New Orleans dies or something.’ I mean, come on, are you serious? Seriously? That’s not me.”
White realizes that sometimes people take things out of context – especially when you’re limited to 140 characters on Twitter – and understands the vitriol-filled responses for the tweet that went viral.
“They took it to a whole nother level,” White said. “(But) I guess you get what you deserve when you say stuff.”
One thing’s for certain. The controversy did have one unintended benefit – it definitely raised White’s profile on the popular social networking site. His @roddywhitetv account, which had just over 13,000 followers on Twitter before the controversy, is now over 20,000.
As far as tweeting goes, White’s done with that – at least for this week.
“I’m done for the week,” he told Schultz when asked if there’d be any more salvos in the red-hot Saints-Falcons Twitter war. “Tuesday, I will Tweet.”
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