I don’t think agents and team officials can remind players of this enough — if you say it on twitter it is like saying it to a reporter. Even if you send a direct message to a fan.
Amare Stoudemire forgot this for a second and sent a fan a gay slur on twitter, something he apologized for later.
It started when a twitter follower of Stoudemire’s, @BFerrelli, tweeted that Stoudemire needed to “make up for this past season.”
Stoudemire sent him a direct message (meaning it was sent directly to @BFerrelli only, it was not public) using a gay slur and an expletive. Then @BFerrelli took a screen shot of that DM and tweeted it out.
The next day Stoudemire sent another DM saying “I apologize for what I said earlier. I just got off the plane and had time to think about it. Sorry bro!! No Excuses. Won’t happen again.”
Three quick thoughts here. First, again, if you put it on twitter you might as well be saying it to a reporter. Remember that, NBA athletes.
Second, the casual use of said gay slur both in NBA locker rooms and the public in general is something that we as a society need to change. The NBA has run public service announcements (featuring Grant Hill and Jared Dudley) denouncing use of gay as a derogatory word, but this is a really a bigger issue. It would be nice if athletes were leaders on this one.
Third, it’s sad that Stoudemire got that tweet in the first place because most Knicks fans are smarter than that. You bring in Stoudemire, one-half of the best pick-and-roll combo in the game, then really never give him a decent point guard to play off of (not for any extended period). Then Carmelo Anthony comes in and he only hustles if the offense runs through him, so everything has to change and Stoudemire is marginalized. The Knicks always did a poor job of giving Mike D’Antoni the tools to run his system well, plus D’Antoni made the mistake of thinking players would be professional and hustle even if he didn’t get in their face and call them out.
It’s a different team now, and you can’t expect Stoudemire to have to really work to find a place in the offense. But get off his back — you had to give him that contract to get anyone else to come there. Remember LeBron James turned you down. You needed a star, you got Stoudemire and he helped turn the fortunes around. You don’t get ‘Melo without him. But sure, go ahead and blame Stoudemire. That’s smart.