Former NBA All-Star Amar’e Stoudemire has apologized for comments he made in an interview with Israeli website Walla Sport. Stoudemire was asked if he would have a problem with a gay teammate, and Stoudemire.
“I want to apologize for my offensive comments against the LGBT community,” Stoudemire said in a statement. “These remarks were taken from a larger interview where a reporter was asking me hypothetical questions, and all my answers had a comedic undertone.”
Stoudemire’s comments clearly did have a comedic undertone, but he got into even more trouble when the reporter followed up by asking if he was joking, and Stoudemire replied, “I mean, there’s always a truth within a joke.”
Stoudemire currently plays for the Israeli professional team Hapoel Jerusalem, and while the other members of his team shown in the clip said they would not have a problem with a gay teammate, Stoudemire said:
“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.”
Stoudemire doubled down on the idea that he was purely joking with the comments, saying, “The answers I gave were meant to be taken as jokes, and I am deeply sorry for offending anyone.”
Gay former NBA players Jason Collins and John Amaechi and the fact that he was given the Martin Luther King Jr. award in Jerusalem over the weekend. The award is meant to go to “individuals who embody the spirit and ideals of Dr. King through their efforts to promote diversity and tolerance,” according to the press release.
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.