Chad Shanks, the Houston Rockets social media manager, was fired from the job for his tweet after the Rockets' win over Dallas in the Game 5 of their series.
Using the Houston Rockets' official Twitter account, he tweeted: "Shhhhh. Just close your eyes. It will all be over soon," along with an emoji of a horse with a gun pointed at it.
The Rockets soon after deleted the controversial tweet, but you can see it below:
The team also issued this apology:
Our Tweet earlier was in very poor taste & not indicative of the respect we have for the @dallasmavs & their fans. We sincerely apologize.
— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) April 29, 2015
According to CBS Sports, the Mavericks' account sullenly accepted the apology.
Shanks then went back to Twitter and sent out his apology:
Sometimes you can go too far. I will no longer run @HoustonRockets but am grateful to the organization that let me develop an online voice.
— Chad Shanks (@chadjshanks) April 29, 2015
I did my best to make the account the best in the NBA by pushing the envelope, but pushed too far for some and for that I apologize. — Chad Shanks (@chadjshanks) April 29, 2015
Shanks said that this was his fourth season managing the Rockets' social media. He further said that he wanted to take a jab at the Mavericks once it became obvious that the Rockets had the game in the bag - something he admits he's done every so often with other teams. Regarding his tweet and the emojis he used, he had "meant it to just be a play on taking an old horse out to pasture that would get [our] fans even more pumped up and agitate Mavericks fans," he said, according to The Sporting News.
Shanks gave the following advice to other social managers: "If you're passionate about it, your voice will come through and people will get to know a part of you through it. I learned that today through all the support I've received online. Know your audience, then balance your personality, knowledge, and experience with the expectations of the people who sign your check."