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1 Jun, 2020 13:44

'Burn that sh*t down'... just not near my house: NBA reporter forced into humiliating U-turn over protest 'hypocrisy'

'Burn that sh*t down'... just not near my house: NBA reporter forced into humiliating U-turn over protest 'hypocrisy'

Veteran NBA reporter Chris Palmer has been called out for hypocrisy after imploring George Floyd protesters to "burn that sh*t down" before promptly changing his tune when disturbances reached much closer to his LA home.

As protests raged across the US, former ESPN reporter Palmer tweeted a widely-shared image of a burning building in Minneapolis to his 115,000 followers on Thursday along with the message: "Burn that sh*t down. Burn it all down."


But as the destruction crept closer to Palmer's own Los Angeles abode a couple of days later, he suddenly struck a very different tone.

"They just attacked our sister community down the street. It’s a gated community and they tried to climb the gates. They had to beat them back," wrote the newly-concerned reporter. 

"Then destroyed a Starbucks and are now in front of my building. Get these animals TF out of my neighborhood. Go back to where you live."

In a subsequent tweet, Palmer added a plea for people to kindly take their rioting elsewhere.

"Tear up your own sh*t. Don't come to where we live at and tear our neighborhood up. We care about our community. If you don't care about yours I don't give a sh*t," he wrote.  

The hypocrisy was not lost on social media, with right-wing tweeter Jack Posobiec sharing Palmer's contradictory pair of messages side-by-side in all their glory.     

To compound matters for the veteran basketball scribe, the image he had shared of the burning building turned out to be an under-construction affordable housing development, according to Minnesota media.   

That prompted even more scorn at his expense...

Despite the backlash heading his way, Palmer initially appeared defiant, talking up his own bravery by "standing on the front lines" and reporting on the protests.  

"I took rubber bullets and tear gas yesterday standing on the front lines. I risked my life trying to get pictures and video. Don't talk to me about what you don't know about little girl," he wrote in one angry reponse.  

But the climbdown was not far off after Palmer belatedly discovered the purpose of the building being razed to the ground in the offending tweet - which he had by then deleted.  

"A couple of nights ago I RT’d a picture of a burning building in Minny. I did not know it was low income housing for many," Palmer admitted. 

"That was my mistake. I do not endorse property destruction of any kind. Real protestors don’t loot. Peaceful protest is the only way. Be safe. God Bless."

And Palmer appeared to concede defeat altogether on Monday, sharing Posobiec's tweet with a further mea culpa.

"Hello, Jack. Obviously, I didn’t choose the right words. It was a crazy weekend. Lots of stress and panic. Tear gas is a mother," he wrote. 

"I don’t endorse property destruction in any form. I’m not perfect. But I will work at it. Be well. Take care."

So there you have it - a cautionary tale if ever there were one.