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MavsFanFinley
10-29-2004, 12:03 PM
Link (http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/sfl-fortson29oct29,0,7806936.story?coll=sfla-sports-headlines)

Fortson sues over `thug' quote

By Kristen Haunss
Staff Writer
Posted October 29 2004

Seattle SuperSonics forward Danny Fortson filed a defamation suit against Phoenix Suns Chairman and CEO Jerry Colangelo, the New York Post and Post columnist Peter Vecsey after they referred to him as a "thug" following a November game, court documents state.

The suit, filed Oct. 25 in a Broward County Court, quotes Vecsey's Nov. 30 column in which he wrote Fortson is a "thugged out player," a "vacant lot," a "meaningless mass," a "gangsta or a wanksta" and said Fortson engaged in "attempted murder."

The quote from Vecsey's column regarding the attempted murder comment is: "What's he saying?" in reference to NBA Commissioner David Stern. "Attempted murder is no problem; you have to murder somebody on one of my courts before I'll outlaw the brazen disregard for the safety of the susceptible."

The documents also refer to comments Colangelo made on ESPN and were carried in a number of papers. "[He's] a thug, and I want him out of here" and then later, "He's always been a thug."

The incident occurred during a Nov. 26 Phoenix Suns victory when Fortson, playing for the Dallas Mavericks at the time, pushed Suns forward Zarko Cabarkapa while he was in midair. Cabarkapa fractured his right wrist and missed 22 games.

Fortson was ejected from the game for committing a flagrant foul, and the NBA suspended him without pay for three games.

Fortson's lawyer, Alexander Clark, said the suit was filed after the Post refused to issue a retraction and Colangelo did not respond to a similar request.

The documents state that "Fortson was injured in his good name, reputation and brought into public scandal and disgrace, has been shunned by many persons with whom he previously had social or business relations, has suffered mental anguish and has been injured in his business."

Fortson, who has a residence in Southwest Ranches, is asking for damages in excess of $15,000, the cost of the suit and other relief the court may deem appropriate.

Colangelo said through a team spokesman that he had no comment. Calls to Vecsey were not returned.

Although rare, athletes have successfully sued the press and/or settled. In 1997, the Dallas Cowboys' Michael Irvin and Erik Williams settled a defamation lawsuit with a television station, and a 1967 Supreme Court decision in Curtis Publishing Company v. Butts ruled in favor of a University of Georgia football coach who was wrongly accused of fixing a football game.

MavKikiNYC
10-29-2004, 12:15 PM
IMO, he's a thug.

TripleDipping
10-29-2004, 02:45 PM
Originally posted by: MavKikiNYC
IMO, he's a thug.

Be careful or he'll sue you too. i/expressions/moon.gif

LRB
10-29-2004, 05:01 PM
Originally posted by: MavKikiNYC
IMO, he's a thug.

But he appears to be an overly sensitive thug. i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif

mary
10-29-2004, 06:22 PM
Good Riddance.

sike
10-29-2004, 08:48 PM
baked potato thug.....yum.