Royce White's Twitter Rant: 10 Ignorant Replies

Categories: Game Time, Sports

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:

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:

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....

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!!

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With the exception of the jackasses on Twitter, there does seem to be a lot of people who are empathetic towards the guy, but at the end of the day, the Rockets are a business. He has not been in the league long enough to be told, "Address your problems, your job will be here when you get back." They've been accommodating, but considering their investment, it's not unreasonable for them to expect when they ask him to see a doctor of their choosing, that he do so at the earliest convenience for them. In the end, they shouldn't be doing for him what he refuses to do for himself.


There's sympathy, and then there's expecting him to face his problems the way his boss(es) expects him to. No Twitter rant on his part is making him seem like he cares much about doing his job to the expectations of the guys paying him a guaranteed salary. And at the end of the day, even though many of us, aside from knuckleheads on Twitter, do empathize, we can't want him to succeed more than he wants to. Other adults in less lucrative professions with the same issues have to cope; it's time for a little less accommodation and a little more proaction on his part, by whatever his employer deems necessary.


We live in a country that is still peopled with men who think rape victims can't get pregnant. It should come as no surprise that we're not overly sympathetic to people with mental illness. But even those of us who have dealt with the mentally ill have a hard time; they look perfectly healthy. You think you can just shake them and tell them to get over it. But you can't. It doesn't work, and it often makes things worse. To make matters more complicated, they often don't take their meds, because--hello!--they're mentally ill and they're not always capable of ascertaining their own needs. I don't know if that describes White, but the Rockets took the kid on knowing about his disorder. If they're willing to take him on, they should be willing to make sure he gets the help he needs.

Sean Casey Caldwell
Sean Casey Caldwell

Catering to his mental illness is going to impact team cohesiveness. His tendency to air out private team issues on social media should be a red flag, as well. Cut him.

gossamersixteen topcommenter

Fire the whiner, let him go home to Mama and work at Wal Mart.. Or take some meds, and get on the damn plane, air travel is far safer than driving. What a tool..


Not for nothing, but I think what makes this situation terrible is that he feels ENTITLED to this treatment. Whether the Rockets want to do it is on them. What excuse does he have for NOT showing up? What does Royce want them to do? Build him a machine to teleport with? Build a trains system that directly links all NBA centers and practice facilities together? Get in a car and drive your own ass to practice.  There's Undrafted free agents out there who would kill for an opportunity to even show up and play with NBA level players, not mention the contract that comes with it. Entitlement is why this story is pointless, not because the Rockets are this evil empire out to waste their first overall pick in the draft. I don't even know why you're defending this guy.  I mean what did this guy come into the NBA for? Get a job that doesn't involve flying then. This is just pandering.

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