Los Angeles Clippers: Matt Barnes Fined $25K For Twitter Rant

On Thursday, the NBA fined Los Angeles Clippers forward Matt Barnes $25,000 for using inappropriate language on Twitter and failing to leave the court in a timely manner after being ejected following an altercation with Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka late in the second quarter Wednesday.

After being ejected from the game, and taking his son with him, Barnes did not censor himself as he vented his frustrations while the game was still going on. During the third quarter of that game, Barnes tweeted, “I love my teammates like family, but I’m DONE standing up for these n—as! All this s— does is cost me money.” The post was later deleted, and Barnes apologized on Twitter. He followed this rant with several apology tweets.






Due to the fact that the NBA has penalized Barnes, the “One Penalty” rule in the collective bargaining agreement precludes the Clippers from imposing any additional punishment, said NBA labor expert Larry Coon. Barnes was fined in part for violating the league’s social media rule. Before the 2009-10 season the NBA said that players cannot tweet from 45 minutes before a game starts and until they have finished their media availability after a game. Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said Wednesday night that Barnes probably was “emotional” after the ejection. But Rivers didn’t like the tone of the Barnes’ tweet or the racial epithet. “The choice of words, obviously, that’s a word that I’m not a fan of in all venues,” Rivers said.

All things considered, Barnes got off easy on this one. Considering his track record, the extraordinary nature of his post-ejection actions and the racial bent to his Twitter profanity, the NBA easily could have chosen to make an example of him, which I’m surprised they didn’t. Instead, he drew a fairly standard fine, one that pales in comparison to the $100,000 hit levied on Kobe Bryant for using a homophobic slur during a game in 2011. All thing said, Barnes is an asset that every team needs to have: a guy with a lot of heart who isn’t afraid to fight and stick up for his teammates. These players usually embody some chemical imbalance, but they prove very useful in the heat of battle.

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