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James Harrison calls saying 'faggot' a 'careless use of a slang word'

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Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker says he meant no offense when he called NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell a "faggot" (among other things), saying it was a "careless use of a slang word."

I also need to make clear that the comment about Roger Goodell was not intended to be derogatory against gay people in any way. It was careless use of a slang word and I apologize to all who were offended by the remark. I am not a homophobic bigot, and I would never advocate intolerance of gay people.

Harrison is in hot water for an interview he gave to "Men's Journal," where he not only ripped Goodell, but also teammates Ben Roethlisberger and Rashard Mendenhall. Since his remarks became public, he has tried to backtrack, saying he was misquoted and taken out of context. On Thursday, he issued an apology (complete text here).

I am not sure what a "careful" use of the "slang" word faggot would be in Harrison's world and his apology rings hollow. This is par for the course, but it continues to show that homophobia in sports is no longer considered cool and anyone using slurs will be called on it, even a guy who poses shirtless with two guns.