Former NBA All-Star Amar’e Stoudemire Apologizes for Homophobic Remarks: 'I Am Deeply Sorry'
Former NBA All-Star Amar’e Stoudemire is apologizing for homophobic comments he made during an interview with Israeli website Walla Sport.
“I want to apologize for my offensive comments against the LGBT community,” Stoudemire said in a statement Wednesday. “These remarks were taken from a larger interview where a reporter was asking me hypothetical questions, and all my answers had a comedic undertone.”
The 34-year-old currently plays for Israeli professional team Hapoel Jerusalem. In a recent interview, he and members of his team were asked if they would have a problem with a gay teammate.
“I’m going to shower across the street, make sure my change of clothes are around the corner. And I’m going to drive — take a different route to the gym,” he said.
When asked by a reporter if he was joking, Stoudemire replied, “I mean, there’s always a truth within a joke.”
“The answers I gave were meant to be taken as jokes and I am deeply sorry for offending anyone,” Stoudemire said of his comments.
Former NBA player John Amaechi, who came out as gay after his career ended, responded to Stoudemire’s comments on Wednesday on Twitter, writing, “THIS is what I think of Amar’e Stoudemire. #RoleModelFail,” as well as, “Lastly, could someone please tell this man to stop flattering himself. It’s embarrassing.”
Jason Collins — the NBA’s first out, active gay player — also spoke out against Stoudemire. He tweeted, “Very sad & troubling to think that @Amareisreal was just given this award. His homophobic comments have no place in sport or in our society.”
Collins criticized Stoudemire’s Martin Luther King Jr. award in Jerusalem over the weekend.