Get a Twitter account, become an idiot who sends out offensive tweets, then either apologize, sort-of-apologize or stand firm. That seems to be the template for many athletes who start Twitter feeds. A check of Outsports archives finds 14 athletes who have made anti-gay tweets in some way since November 2011. This does not take into account the tweet of one journalist, college basketball analyst Seth Davis.
There's no one theme in these tweets and some were clearly more offensive than others. I am not sure what it is about Twitter that lowers many people's IQ, but people seem to have no problem spouting off without thinking. Here is the list, starting with the most recent, Tank Carder:
Tank Carder (Cleveland Browns linebacker). Tweet: "I don't agree with being gay or lesbian at all, but saying faggot doesn't make me a homophobe. It's just a word." Later: "I'm sorry if you're offended."
Brandon Spikes (New England Patriots linebacker). Tweet: “I’m homophobic just like I’m arachnophobic. I have nothing against homosexuals or spiders, but I’d still scream if I found one in my bathtub!” Later: "PEOPLE !!!!! It’s just a joke…seriously a JOKE !!! Chill out.”
Amar’e Stoudemire (New York Knicks). Tweet (to a fan): "Fuck you. I don't have to do any thing fag." Later: "I'm sorry for what I said earlier. ... No Excuses. Won't happen again."
Justin Fontaine (Minnesota Wild prospect). Tweet (after a follower watching the Grammys praised the Foo Fighters): "I disagree. The Foo Faggots were awful." Later: The Wild suspended him for two games from its Houston Aeros minor league team.
Shawn Michaels (pro wrestling). Tweet (to a fan who asked him about his hairline): "Another Dude obsessed w/my hair #homo." Later: "I apologize for the remark."
Jonathan Vilma (New Orleans Saints linebacker): Tweet 1: "Grown men should NOT hav female tendencies. Period." Tweet 2 (to a fan): "u must have a man crush on me tweeting 10x in a row. I'm flattered but ewwwww yuck no thanks." Later: He told people offended to "shut up" and never apologized.
Roddy White (Atlanta Falcons receiver): Tweet (when asked whether he would rather lead the league in stats or win a Super Bowl): "Would u rather be gay than straight come on u know that answer." Later: He defended himself, citing "freedom of speech."
Federico Macheda, Nile Ranger, Manny Smith, Ravel Morrison (English Premier League soccer). Tweets: The four sent various tweets that were anti-gay. Later: They were fined a combined $45,000.
Lee Nguyen (Vancouver Whitecaps soccer). Tweet: He called goal keeper Brad Knighton a “fagggggggg." Later: "I truly apologize. I didn't want to hurt or disrespect anyone."
Lee Steele (English soccer player). Tweet (about openly gay rugby player Gareth Thomas): "I wouldn’t fancy the bed next to Gareth Thomas. #padlock my a**e." Later: His club released him, saying, "The Oxford City board have decided to release Lee Steele in view of his recent comment via social media which is considered seriously contrary to the ethos of the club."
Antony Golec (Australian soccer player). Tweet (about a referee at one of his games): “Ben Williams you are gay, biggest homo going around, you gypsie.” Later (after his club threatened to sack him): “I accept without reservation what I did was foolish and that as a consequence Ben Williams has every right to feel insulted and aggrieved. I unreservedly apologize to Ben."
If we missed anyone, please post in the comments below.