INDIANAPOLIS -- NBA star Paul George got the message quickly Thursday.
After tweeting that Ray Rice should be allowed to continue his NFL career and suggesting he was merely responding to being attacked, George backtracked Thursday, replacing his deleted comments with an apology to women and victims of domestic violence.
Rice was released by the Baltimore Ravens on Monday and suspended indefinitely by the NFL after an elevator video showed Rice knocking out his then-fiancee with a punch to the face. The two are now married.
George tweeted that although he didn't condone hitting women, he believed Rice should to be allowed to play in the NFL. In another post George wrote: "If you in a relationship and a woman hit you first and attacking YOU.. Then you obviously ain't beatin HER. Homie made A bad choice!"
After the posts created a stir in media circles, George pulled down all of those posts and replaced them with an apology that read in part: "My intent was not to downplay the situation."
Pacers president of basketball operations Larry Bird chastised the team's best player for the comments.
"Paul George's tweets from earlier were thoughtless and without regard to the subject of domestic violence and its seriousness in society," Bird said. "We have talked to Paul to strongly express our displeasure and made it clear that the NBA and the Pacers' organization will not condone or tolerate remarks of this nature. Paul understands that he was wrong and why his tweets were so inappropriate and is very apologetic."
George is recuperating from a gruesome compound fracture in his right leg that is likely to keep him out of the entire 2014-15 NBA season.