Buccaneers GM on Carlton Davis' Use of Anti-Asian Slur: 'Words Carry Weight'

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIApril 5, 2021

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 27: Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht answers questions during the NFL Scouting Combine on February 27, 2019 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, IN. (Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht released a statement regarding Bucs cornerback Carlton Davis' use of an anti-Asian slur on Twitter:

"We have been in communication with Carlton regarding his social media post from Sunday evening. Carlton has been an active member of our Social Justice Player Board over the past two seasons and has played a key role in our organizational support for finding peaceful and productive ways to bring attention to societal issues that have plagued our country for many years.

"Words carry weight and it is incumbent upon all of us to have a thorough understanding of the words we choose and the effect they may have on others. We look forward to working with Carlton to find appropriate ways to learn from this experience and continue our joint efforts to put an end to all forms of social and racial injustices."

Davis sent a tweet that read "Gotta stop letting g--ks in Miami." He then sent two follow-up tweets apologizing and explaining his use of the term:

C-Murda ™ @Carlton_Lowkey

I used a term that from where I come from has always meant “lame”but I did not realize it has a much darker, negative connotation. I have learned a valuable lesson and want to apologize to anyone that was offended by seeing that word because we need to focus on helping each other

Davis, 24, has played with the Bucs for three seasons.

The Asian American Journalists Association Sports Task Force released a statement following Davis' tweets:

"Earlier today, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Carlton Davis posted a tweet that included a derogatory term historically used to refer to Asians in the early 1900s. The Asian American Journalists Association Sports Task Force is disappointed by his sentiment, especially at a time when Asians in the United States are experiencing a sharp increase in anti-Asian hate which has resulted in harassment and attacks.
"'G--k' is a hateful slur and is listed in AAJA’s official guidance on covering Asia and Asian Americans. The AAJA STF appreciates the swift response by the Buccaneers’ organization to address this matter. We also acknowledge Davis’ apology and look forward to seeing how he will help the affected communities." 

Stop AAPI Hate, which tracks hate incidents against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, received 3,795 reports in the United States from March 29, 2020, and February 28, 2021, noting that number is only a "fraction" of the actual figure because many people do not report the assault, discrimination, harassment and bullying they experience.

Davis, a member of the Bucs Social Justice Board, has played for the team for three seasons after Tampa Bay selected him 63rd overall in the 2018 NFL draft.

The former Auburn defensive back led the team with four interceptions in the regular season and helped the Bucs win the Super Bowl over the Kansas City Chiefs.