Rep. Maddock decried ‘illegal invaders’ in Detroit. They were college basketball players.

(Michigan Advance/Laina G. Stebbins)

By Michigan Advance

April 2, 2024

BY JON KING, MICHIGAN ADVANCE

MICHIGAN—State Rep. Matt Maddock (R-Milford) has drawn scorn from across social media, including fellow legislators, after posting pictures to his X account of a plane landing at Detroit Metro Airport Wednesday night and wrongly claiming they were illegally entering the country.

“Happening right now,” wrote Maddock. “Three busses [sic] just loaded up with illegal invaders at Detroit Metro. Anyone have any idea where they’re headed with their police escort?” 

Rep. Maddock decried ‘illegal invaders’ in Detroit. They were college basketball players.

He tagged Michigan GOP Chair Pete Hoekstra.

In fact, the buses were for members of the Gonzaga University basketball team, which had posted a video of players boarding an Allegiant Air jet and then disembarking at Metro Airport before being driven to Detroit, where they are competing in the NCAA’s Sweet 16 Midwest Regional basketball tournament being held at Little Caesars Arena over the weekend.

State Sen. Mallory McMorrow (D-Royal Oak) mocked her fellow lawmaker’s post.

“A sitting State Representative sees a group of busses [sic] at the airport and immediately yells “illegal invaders” which is a pretty rude (and also, frankly, dangerous) way to greet the Gonzaga Men’s Basketball Team arriving for March Madness,” she posted.

Rep. Maddock decried ‘illegal invaders’ in Detroit. They were college basketball players.

State Rep. Phill Skaggs (D-East Grand Rapids) also joined in, calling his House colleague “Mad Matt,” adding the immigration issue could best be addressed with actual legislation and not “dumb” tweets.

“Maddock could actually do something to help deal with immigration issues,” said Skaggs. “He could encourage his fellow DC Republicans to pass the bipartisan immigration and border bill. But, that would be work and not just raw anger on Twitter and dumb political strategy.”

Lavora Barnes, chair of the Michigan Democratic Party, called the post “racist” and said “bigotry has rotted the Michigan Republican Party from top to bottom – they can’t look at a basketball team without going into a conspiracy-fueled frenzy.”

Maddock is married to former Michigan Republican Party Co-Chair Meshawn Maddock, who is one of 15 false GOP electors from 2020 charged with fraud.

Despite the criticism and a community note from X noting his error, Rep. Maddock posted later on Thursday morning: “We know this is happening. 100,000’s of illegals are pouring into our country. We know it’s happening in Michigan. Our own governor is offering money to take them in! Since we can’t trust the #FakeNews to investigate, citizens will. The process of investigating these issues takes time.”

Rep. Maddock decried ‘illegal invaders’ in Detroit. They were college basketball players.

This coverage was republished from Michigan Advance pursuant to a Creative Commons license. 

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