GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - A Minnesota lawmaker is getting a lot of attention via social media after making a controversial tweet on Sunday about the NBA.

The opinion was tweeted by Republican House member Pat Garofalo, of Farmington, at about 4:30 p.m. It has been re-tweeted more than 500 times and Garofalo has engaged in Twitter conversations with some of his followers.

"I reject that any criticism of athletes and their conduct is somehow racist," Garofalo told KARE 11.

Garofalo said that the negative reaction came as a surprise and that his tweet had nothing to do with the fact that the majority of NBA athletes are African American.

"I was talking about the NBA's high arrest rate," he said.

Garofalo said he was referencing an attitude among professional athletes in which they think they are above the law.

"I really don't understand how being critical of a culture of pro athletes has anything to do with race," Garofalo said. "This is a behavior that transcends the race of the athlete, and it seems to be a culture in all professional sports these days."

A commentator from put together a list of Garofalo NBA rants that is allegedly from the lawmaker's Twitter account.

Pat was first elected to the legislature in 2004. He is currently serving his fifth term.