Rep. Don Young might not be the only member of Congress in need of some sensitivity training.
After the Ohio State Buckeyes beat the Arizona Wildcats Thursday night in the college basketball tournament with a tie-breaking 3-pointer from LaQuinton Ross with 2.1 seconds left on the clock, Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, tweeted: “It’s official. Ohio State is the luckiest team in the tournament. #TrailOfTears.”
That #TrailOfTears hashtag quickly drew a negative response on Twitter, prompting Braley to delete the tweet within an hour. It was archived, nevertheless.
Braley, who is serving his fourth term in the House, then attempted to clarify his intent with a tweet-pology in the wee hours of the morning, explaining that he was identifying with the pain of Iowa State fans who suffered defeat at the hands of Ohio State last week.
“The ‘tears’ I was referring to were the tears of [Iowa State] Cyclone fans. I have removed the tweet & apologize to anyone who was offended,” Braley, 55, tweeted.
The Trail of Tears is the route thousands of Cherokee traveled by foot, horse, wagon or steamboat from 1838 to 1839 after the U.S. government forcefully removed them from Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee to live in Indian Territory, which later became Oklahoma.
The National Park Service says that hundreds of Cherokee died during the grueling trek, while thousands more perished after being displaced.
The Braley story was first reported by the Des Moines Register. Braley is hoping to replace Iowa’s retiring Sen. Tom Harkin in the U.S. Senate.