New York Knicks power forward Amar'e Stoudemire has apologized to a fan after sending a homophobic slur via direct message on Twitter on Saturday, citing that he was on a flight and had time to think about it.
UPDATE: Tuesday, June 26, 3:50 p.m. ET by Donald Wood
The NBA has decided that they can punish a player for direct messages containing homophobic slurs, handing down a $50,000 fine to New York Knicks forward Amar’e Stoudemire.
This punishment may be making an example out of the NBA star, but the league has set a precedent that is sure to catch on with many organizations across the sports world.
National NBA writer for the Boston Globe Gary Washburn is reporting about the league’s decision via Twitter:
While this penalty is very harsh, it’s still $50,000 less than Kobe Bryant was fined when he used a homophobic slur towards an official during a game. Now that the decision has been handed down, it is up to Stoudemire to live up to his mistake and make peace with the people he offended.
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UPDATE: Monday, June 25, 9:50 a.m. ET by Donald Wood
After New York Knicks forward Amar’e Stoudemire sent a direct message via Twitter to a fan in which he used a homophobic slur, the league is reportedly now investigating the incident.
The New York Post is reporting on the NBA’s intentions of finding out the truth:
A source told The Post the NBA plans to look into the authenticity of a profane direct message allegedly sent by Amar’e Stoudemire to a fan over the weekend. Stoudemire allegedly called the fan a homosexual slur in the direct message, which was forwarded to Deadspin.com via photo.
While NBA players are just humans, they have to be held to a different standard because of the influence they have on young people. Whether they like it or not, athletes are role models.
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Here is the original Tweet of the direct message (Warning: NSFW Tweet Contains Graphic Language) from Stoudemire’s account to @BFerrelli:
Stoudemire’s response to the fan’s Tweet should signal the end to this mini Twitter saga:
The Knicks forward was dealing with major backlash after the Tweets became known (h/t BlackSports Online), but it appears that the NBA star and the fan have agreed to move on.
While this could be the end of the story and the Knicks forward could walk out of this smelling like a rose; that’s not how it should be.
Amar’e has realized the error of using homophobic slurs and must use this lesson as not only a chance at growth for himself, but a learning experience for others.
It's time for Stoudemire to advocate for change in young athletes by doing it himself. If a star like Amar'e is fighting for tolerance, the kids that look up to him will do the same.
Stoudemire would have no problem recruiting the Knicks organization to help him, so creating a public service announcement addressing the use of homophobic slurs like they did in Phoenix when he was there would be a great move.
The ball is in your court, Amar’e.
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