August 04, 2009
Nuggets guard J.R. Smith's Twitter page is drawing controversy because several of his recent tweets have been written in a way that apparently gives the impression of an association with the Bloods street gang.
Chris Dempsey of The Denver Post, um, reports:
"Words that would have a 'C' in them are replaced with 'K,' or if a word has both in them, the 'C' is removed altogether. [...]
'Those are still little messages that are being transcended back to some of the neighborhoods,' said Rev. Leon Kelly, executive director of Open Door Youth Gang Alternatives in Denver. 'Not to say in no way is he promoting a gang. But people got to understand that a lot of these kids come from gang neighborhoods. Their friends are still involved in doing what they do. Just because one was able to get out of that lifestyle, many of them don't forget where they come from.'"
Questionable tweets include "I just Kame home. ... I kouldnt have done it with out yall," which Smith posted last week, upon his release from jail, as well as "Vegas here I kome!" and "Kant wait to get bak in the swing of things."
I'm no expert on social gang networking, but I'm pretty sure there is a difference between writing in a particular style and actually being in a gang. As Mutoni at SLAM notes, this is a wild accusation for The Denver Post to make based on a few messages from Smith's Twitter feed.