POLITICS

Bruce Braley, Iowa Democrat, Apologizes After Comparing Basketball Loss To 'Trail Of Tears'

03/29/2013 05:31 pm ET | Updated Mar 29, 2013

Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) became the latest politician to make a Twitter gaffe on Thursday night when he analogized the feelings of Iowa State University basketball fans to the forcible relocation of Native American nations in the 1830s, known as the Trail of Tears.

"It's official. Ohio State is the luckiest team in the tournament. #TrailOfTears," read Braley's tweet.

The Trail of Tears hashtag created a stir amongst Braley's followers, who found it racist and insensitive. The tweet was hastily deleted and replaced with an apology.

"The 'tears' I was referring to were the tears of Cyclone fans. I have removed the tweet & apologize to anyone who was offended," Braley said.

The Iowa State Cyclones were bounced from the NCAA tournament in dramatic fashion on Sunday by the Ohio State Buckeyes. Another narrow Buckeye win over the University of Arizona on Thursday night in the Sweet Sixteen prompted Braley's tweet.

Braley, who intends to seek the Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) in 2014, isn't the only congressman to make a racially obtuse comment this week. Republicans in Congress have been doing damage control since Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) referred to Latino farm workers as "wetbacks" during a radio interview Thursday.

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