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NBA's Tim Thomas accused of anti-gay slur

A partron at a Dallas Denny's told police and the Dallas Morning News that Dallas Mavericks forward Tim Thomas called he and his friends "faggots" during an incident that escalated into chair throwing.

Accounts of the incident are confusing, but do involve punches being thrown and chairs tossed inside the Denny's at 3 a.m. when Thomas and his group got into an argument with Damien Pettie, 29. Pettie told police and the newspaper that he recognized Thomas and said to him,"what's up." That's when the trouble started.

He said that when he and his friends passed by Thomas' table and he addressed the player by saying, "What's up?" Thomas responded that that he didn't talk to "faggots." The police report also quoted Pettie as saying Thomas used that term.

Pettie told The News he later passed Thomas' table again, and that Thomas made another remark derogatory remark about gays. "I asked one of the guys, ‘What the hell did you say?' '' Pettie said. "As Tim continued to instigate the situation, one of the guys hit me in my mouth. Another one of his friends hit me. They pushed me down onto a table."

Pettie says he picked up a chair to defend himself. One of the men who hit him in the face then picked up a chair and threw it, he said. Pettie said he caught the chair, but not before it [hit a 65-year-old woman sitting nearby].

Pettie says he is not gay but that some of his friends with him are lesbians.

"It was like a bunch of high school kids. It reminded me of high school. The popular kids picking on lower classmen. That's how they acted. (Thomas) acted like a big bully kid in high school.

Mavericks' spokesman Donnie Nelson defended Thomas.

"What I can tell you is that Tim was not involved,'' he said. "He's 30 years old with a wife and kids. When the situation started to escalate, he left the property immediately. Certainly we're working with authorities and our security folks to get to the bottom of it. But this is something that's way, way, way overblown.

"Innocent until proven guilty in this country, last I checked.''

Police have not charged anyone in the incident. A local sportcaster was at the restaurant when the incident happened and was to discuss it later today. We will update this story as more details emerge.

Thomas is the second Mavericks player in six weeks to be accused of calling someone a "faggot." A Los Angeles Clippers fan told Outsports that Gooden called he and his friends "faggots" after a game on Halloween.