Another Twitter Lawsuit Comes to Light

Uh oh, it looks like Twitter lawsuits are becoming trendy now. After Courtney Love settled hers out of court for over $400,000 and a British politician was ordered to pay over £50,000, a new Twitter libel case has sprung up, this time in the sports industry. An NBA referee is suing the Associated Press and one of its sports writers over a tweet.

A federal lawsuit was filed Monday March 14th claiming that an AP sports reporter defamed an NBA referee in a tweet sent during a basketball game.

According to, the reporter, Jon Krawczynski, tweeted the following after a call that the plaintiff, referee William Spooner, made during a Jan 24 game:

“Ref Bill Spooner told Rambis he’d ‘get it back’ after a bad call. Then he made an even worse call on Rockets. That’s NBA officiating folks.”

The lawsuit claims that Spooner did not respond to Rambis, the coach of the Rockets and the team that he had made the call on earlier in the game. It implies that Krawczynski falsely reported this as a fact.

Spooner goes on in the lawsuit to say that the tweet caused a disciplinary investigation by the NBA and has caused lasting damage to his reputation as a referee. He is asking the courts to award him damages of over $75,000 and the removal of the tweet from Krawczynski’s Twitter account.

The AP is standing behind Krawczynski. Their lawyer is quoted as saying that “We believe all the facts we reported in our coverage of that game, in all media, were accurate.”

This is the third Twitter libel case in recent weeks to hit the media. Courtney Love settled her case out of court earlier this month, while a former UK politician was forced to pay damages in the thousands of pounds for a statement he made on Twitter.