Montana PBR champion Jess Lockwood has apologized after facing criticism for a post on Twitter.
The criticism came after earlier this week Lockwood and his brother, Jake Lockwood, posted tweets referring to a Native American as a “rezzer.”
A tweet sent from Jess Lockwood’s verified Twitter account read: “So Jake literally pissed his pants laughing at this rezzer that stopped us outside the Indian depot,” followed by a laughing emoji with tears streaming down its face.
One minute later, a tweet posted from the account of Jake Lockwood read: “Drunk rezzer- can i ask you a favor? Me- ya what do you need? Drunk rezzer- what do i need?…i got water! #noDAPL #WaterIsLife”
Both tweets were deleted but not before other Twitter users captured the statements on screen grabs and launched heavy criticism at the high-profile Montana cowboys.
Later Thursday, Jess Lockwood posted this apology on his Facebook page:
Earlier this week in a tweet,
I used an inappropriate and insensitive word. I am sorry for my actions and assume full responsibility. I realize that I made a mistake, I should never use that term or any other term that is demeaning. I have learned a lot in short time from this. I have many Native American friends, several of whom live on reservations in Montana and many who I compete against week in and week out. I did not intend to offend anyone and it won’t happen again.
Asking for your understanding and forgiveness,
When contacted by MontanaSports.com the PBR issued this media release:
“PBR is aware of an inappropriate comment made on social media by Jess Lockwood. Jess immediately apologized and is using this incident as a learning experience to educate himself further. He counts all of our Native American riders as close friends and he did not intend to hurt any member of the Native American Community. Jess has been offered and accepted an invitation to tour an Indian Reservation, where he will learn more about the extraordinary Native American culture, and teach the youngsters there about opportunities in bull riding. The PBR does not tolerate intolerance of any kind and has fined Jess an undisclosed amount with the money to be directed to a Native American charitable organization.”
When asked for clarification on who specifically Lockwood apologized to and if it was conveyed via email, phone call or publicly, PBR representative Andrew Giangola replied that Lockwood has done so “through direct messages on social media.”
The PBR just this week announced it will return to Billings in April for the 23rd consecutive year. Billings is the PBR’s longest-continuing top-tier event. Jess Lockwood earned his first top-tier event victory in Billings in 2016.
- Reported by Scott Breen