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, seen in full in the tweet below.
Davis apologized in later tweets, claiming he used the word as a south Florida put-down for “lame,” referencing a 2017 entry in an unofficial online slang dictionary.
“I did not realize it has a much darker, negative connotation,” he wrote. “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 during these tough 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 may 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 continue our joint efforts to put an end to all forms of social and racial injustices.”
Davis’ comment was the latest among sports figures to raise eyebrows for controversial remarks. In an intended 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 for a Jewish person as he played a video game on a livestream. He said he did not know what it meant. Miami traded Leonard to the Oklahoma City Thunder, who then waived him after the NBA trade deadline.
Davis helped the Bucs’ defense shut down Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes in Tampa’s Super Bowl victory two months ago.
He posted his remark at a time when anti-Asian hate has escalated during the pandemic.
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