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Houston Rockets Fire Social Media Manager Over Inappropriate Emojis

The basketball team reportedly fired their social media manager after tweeting two emojis during the Dallas Mavericks game. Some Rockets fans, though, want him back.

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The Houston Rockets were bringing their playoff series to a victorious close Tuesday when their social media manager tweeted a jab at their opponents.

The @HoustonRockets' social media person who tweeted this (http://t.co/ObbU1UYQj9) got fired today. (via @clutchfans)

It was Game 5 of their series against the Mavericks, which they won 103 to 94.

@HoustonRockets Not very classy but we still wish you guys the best of luck in the next round.

It turned out to be his last tweet for the team, according to ESPN, which confirmed social media manager Chad Shanks was fired shortly afterward.

Our Tweet earlier was in very poor taste & not indicative of the respect we have for the @dallasmavs & their fans. We sincerely apologize.

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Shanks confirmed on Twitter he was no longer with the team, updating his profile to simply read, "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.

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.

But Shanks' departure was unwelcome news for Houston Rockets fans, who have launched an online petition to get him back.

More than 2,300 fans have signed a change.org petition.

"As fans, we understand the tweet about the Mavs last night may have crossed the line, but this season has been filled with great tweets that created an additional personal connection between Houston Rockets fans and the organization," the petition states.

There has also been an outpouring of support, with fans unfollowing the Rockets' official account, defending Shanks' online trash talk, and asking that he be given his job back.

I've been a @HoustonRockets fan since '88 but I no longer support their social media acct. You fire someone over trash talk? #BringBackChad

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Unfollow @HoustonRockets until they #BringBackChad because that is some bulls**t https://t.co/if7LRc1jvB

Just think about this @HoustonRockets , you fired someone over a silly emoji. Say that out loud. Sounds dumb right? Be better #BringBackChad

@HoustonRockets Is this more appropriate? #BringBackChad

Shanks thanked fans for their support, but there's no word on whether the team might reconsider.

You all have no idea how much all this support means. Doesn't excuse my not thinking before Tweeting, but it has been much appreciated.

BuzzFeed News reached out to the Houston Rockets and Shanks, but did not receive an immediate response.

Salvador Hernandez is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.

Contact Salvador Hernandez at salvador.hernandez@buzzfeed.com.

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