Royce White's Twitter Rant: 10 Ignorant Replies
However, major damage was done. In an interview with Mark Berman of Fox 26, Rockets owner Leslie Alexander was asked about White and seemed resigned to the possibility that he might not be a Rocket much longer:
"That's tenuous and it's tough to talk about something like that," Alexander said.
"I think we are going to handle it internally, but it's tough. If he doesn't work out, well it's tough to lose a draft choice."
And if that happens?
"I would feel bad for Royce and I would feel very bad for the team," Alexander said.
The Rockets have not said yet how they will penalize White for being away from the team.
"We have internal repercussions which I'm not going to talk about," Alexander said.
I mean, wow.
Not wanting to be painted the "bad guy," and clearly concerned that the team was controlling the tone of the narrative on his story, Royce White issued a statement through his publicist on Tuesday:
"In hindsight, perhaps it was not a good idea to be open and honest about my anxiety disorder due to the current situations at hand that involve the nature of actions from the Houston Rockets," White said in the statement. "The Rockets have been inconsistent with their agreement to proactively create a healthy and successful relationship. Failure to meet my requests for support will end with me being unhealthy and that is not a consequence that I am willing to accept to play any sport."
That "THUD" you just heard was the wheels of Royce White's RV running over the Rockets' organization. Wow.
And that wasn't all. The rookie then took to Twitter on Tuesday night, and he tweeted. And tweeted. And tweeted some more. He never stopped tweeting. He spent all night Tuesday, and most of the day Wednesday applying a social media blow torch to his career, 140 characters at a time.
It started with this tweet...
...and kept going and going. Retweets of supporters, retweets of haters, continued rambling explanations of his side of the story, all with an underlying tone that the Rockets were somehow treating him like a slab of meat.
To the average person, mental illness and anxiety disorders are a mystery. That unto itself is a problem, but the bigger issue is that only a small percentage of society has the self-awareness to realize they know nothing about what ails people like Royce White. When it comes to his inability to function in certain settings, Twitter meatheads and keyboard warriors think that White is just some kind of wuss, like his affliction is the equivalent of a fear of snakes or something.
This was borne out in the replies to White's Twitter barrage. While there were many people supporting Royce White and wishing him well, there was plenty of ignorance flowing through the veins of social media as well.
(To be clear, I didn't condone White's taking to Twitter to rant, but I also don't condone people saying things to White, or anyone for that matter, that they wouldn't say to his face.)
For your entertainment, here are some of those tweets:
Many of them were the garden variety "You're a waste of a draft pick and a big puss" tweets. Here are a couple standard ones:
@highway_30 hope the Rockets cut u. What a waste of a draft pick. If u can't get over the "illness" of not flying on a plane gtfo of the NBA— Austin Gaither (@AustinGaither) November 14, 2012
@highway_30 is such a priss. get on the plane and play the game you chose to play— Jared Stoltz (@jaredstoltzsays) November 14, 2012
People still use the word "priss?" Continuing, tweets like this one kind of make my point that the world is full of people who wonder why you can't just put a Band-Aid or "rub some dirt on" mental illness:
Yeah, thanks Doctor. I'm pretty sure there's not an inhalator that you can take to cure anxiety disorder. Stay healthy, jackass.
At a certain point, college pride kicked in as well:
You @highway_30 are not only making yourself look bad, you are making Iowa State look bad. You should quit tweeting and go play— Brian Gossett (@bgossett5) November 14, 2012
Yeah, Royce...I mean, you're making yourself look bas, sure...but what Iowa State, huh?!? What about the GODDAMN CYCLONES, ROYCE?!?! Have you no school pride?!?!
You knew that Video Game Guy would have an opinion on Royce White's getting on the court....
What a crazy week for @highway_30. Just read up on his tweets. They need to let this dude go out & play already. He's a beast in 2k lol.— Justin L. (@xJUSTINNN) November 14, 2012
That tweet seriously sounded like it came from my 13 year old son, which is fine for him because he is...ya know...THIRTEEN FUCKING YEARS OLD!!