AP Sportswriter Sued After Tweet Accused NBA Ref of Cheating

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John Krawczynski's above tweet has led to a libel lawsuit and a call for retraction. (Credit: Twitter)

After being accused of cheating in a tweet, an NBA referee has sued an Associated Press sportswriter for defamation, City Pages reported.

The AP writer, Jon Krawczynski, tweeted Jan. 24 that

“Ref Bill Spooner told Rambis he’d ‘get it back’ after a bad call.  Then he made an even worse call on the Rockets. That’s NBA officiating folks.”

According to the lawsuit, the referee, Bill Spooner, “accuses Krawczynski of harping on the questionable skill of NBA refs all season, and says that Krawczynski made up the quote, and published it on his AP twitter account knowing that it was a fabrication.”

Spooner had issued a foul to a Minnesota Timberwolves player and told the coach he would “review the call at the half.”  The Timberwolves coach reportedly asked Rambis “how he would get the points back.”  However, Spooner claims he “didn’t respond to the comment,” despite Krawczynski’s tweet.

The tweet reportedly led to Spooner’s being “disciplined by the league.”  Spooner is calling for $75,000 in damages, a retraction and the tweet to be deleted.

See the lawsuit here.

In a statement, the AP’s associate general counsel, Dave Tomlin, reportedly backed the reporter:  “We believe all of the facts we reported from the game in question were accurate.”

Hat Tip: Romenesko

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AP Sportswriter Sued After Tweet Accused NBA Ref of Cheating

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