In a series of social media posts last night, Phoenix City Council member Sal DiCiccio called National Basketball Association players "whiny bitches" for boycotting games over the recent police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. DiCiccio has represented District 6 (which covers portions of southern and eastern Phoenix) on the city council since 2009 and so has an entrenched power base.
In one post issued on his official Facebook page, DiCiccio linked to a Fox News story about how the Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers have reportedly opted to boycott the remainder of their seasons. DiCiccio wrote, "Hoping we don't have to listen to anymore whiny bitches. Looks like 2020 is actually making a turn around for the good. I will take a knee praying if they follow through."
On Twitter, DiCiccio issued a similar post, sharing the same Fox News story and stating, "Looks like 2020 is making a huge turnaround. I really hope these guys follow through with this easy lay up so we don't have to listen to any more whiny bitches @NBA #NBABoycott."
And in another post responding to a Tweet from a reporter from The Athletic discussing the Lakers and Clippers votes to boycott the remainder of the season, DiCiccio wrote, "Fantastic news. Really hoping we don't have to listen to any more whiny bitches coming from the NBA. They will never follow through, they are a bunch of big talkers. I am an official with the City of Phoenix and these guys will never follow through. Really, really big talkers."
To his credit, DiCiccio doubled down on his rants in a statement to New Times: "I don't take back a single word of this. None. I'm tired of these entitled athletes playing in taxpayer-funded stadiums making millions of dollars pounding on police officers who make $40K a year. Public is tired of them, too."
His critics attacked him personally rather than rebut his ideas. Phoenix City Councilman Carlos Garcia slammed DiCiccio's comments as "hateful rhetoric" and "doubling down on bigotry." Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego was less pointed in her criticism of DiCiccio, simply saying that DiCiccio's comments were unfortunate.