Carlton Davis went from Super Bowl champion to another sports figure accused of racism on Sunday.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback issued a tweet containing an anti-Asian slur, which is seen in its entirety in the tweet below.
Davis apologized in subsequent tweets, claiming he used the word as a South Florida contempt for “lame,” referencing a 2017 entry in an unofficial online slang dictionary.
“I didn’t realize that it has a much darker negative connotation,” he wrote. “I’ve learned a valuable lesson and I want to apologize to anyone who was offended by seeing that word because we have to focus on helping each other during these difficult times.
“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 can have on others,” Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht said in a statement, noting that the team has been “in communication” with Davis since his tweet. “We look forward to working with Carlton to find appropriate ways to learn from this experience and to continue our joint efforts to end all forms of social and racial injustice.”
Davis’s comment was the latest among sports figures to raise eyebrows over controversial comments. In a pointed pep talk, Creighton University basketball coach Greg McDermott recently urged his team, many of whom are black, to “stay on the plantation.” Miami Heat center Meyers Leonard was caught saying a bigoted word to a Jewish person while playing a video game on a live broadcast. He said he didn’t know what it meant. Miami traded Leonard to the Oklahoma City Thunder, who then resigned him after the NBA trade deadline.
Davis helped the Bucs defense defeat Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes in Tampa’s Super Bowl victory two months ago.
He posted his comment at a time when hatred against Asians has intensified during the pandemic.
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