- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Houston Rockets have fired the person behind their official Twitter account, after he sent out a couple of emojis Tuesday night that showed a gun pointed at a horse’s head.

Chad Shanks was released Wednesday from his duties as digital communications manager for the Rockets, after he sent out the tweet before the close of their 103-94 series-clinching win against the Dallas Mavericks in the first-round playoff series, a local CBS affiliate reported.

“Shhhhh. Just close your eyes. It will all be over soon,” the tweet said, accompanied by a horse emoji with a gun pointed at its head. The Mavericks‘ mascot is a horse.

Ten minutes later, the Mavericks’ Twitter account responded: “@HoustonRockets Not very classy but we still wish you guys the best of luck in the next round.”

The Rockets later apologized for the tweet, saying it was in “very poor taste & not indicative of the respect we have for the @dallasmavs & their fans.”

Mr. Shanks also took to Twitter to apologize. His profile description was amended to say, “Will probably be tweeting less about basketball now.”

“Sometimes you can go too far. I will no longer run @HoustonRockets but am grateful to the organization that let me develop an online voice,” he wrote. “I did my best to make the account the best in the NBA by pushing the envelope, but pushed too far for some and for that I apologize.”

“I hope there’s another organization out there in need of someone willing to take chances and create engaging social content. I hope,” he added.

More than 250 people have signed a Change.org petition demanding the Rockets give Mr. Shanks his job back.

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