Former NBA All-Star Amar’e Stoudemire is taking some heat for comments made in an interview with Israeli site Walla Sport.
Stoudemire currently plays for the Israeli professional team Hapoel Jerusalem, and in the interview he and members of his team were asked if they would have a problem with a gay teammate.
While the other players in the clip had responses like, “I wouldn’t have an issue” and “I wouldn’t have a problem,” Stoudemire responded quite differently.
“I’m going to shower across the street, make sure my change of clothes are around the corner,” he said. “And I’m going to drive -- take a different route to the gym.”
The reporter then asked twice whether Stoudemire is joking, to which he replied, “I mean, there’s always a truth within a joke.”
You always want to give the player the benefit of the doubt that maybe his comments were taken out of context in situations like this, but it’s hard to see Stoudemire’s comments as anything but homophobic. The fact that he could have taken the easy way out and said he was joking, but chose not to, adds to the shock.
This isn’t the first time Stoudemire has made homophobic remarks, either. In 2012 he was fined $50,000 by the NBA for using a gay slur in a Twitter direct message exchange between him and a fan who had criticized his on-court performance.
You’d think that someone who was already on the radar for this kind of language would be on guard when being asked a question about having a gay teammate. Instead Stoudemire now has a lot of explaining to do for his offensive comments.