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NBA player says homophobic tweets were sent by a hacker

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Al-Farouq Aminu of the Portland Trail Blazer says he never sent tweets from 2009-2011.

Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

Portland Trail Blazers forward Al-Farouq Aminu says that the more than a dozen homophobic tweets sent from his account from 2009-2011 came from a hacker.

Here is Aminu's explanation as told to Kevin Arnovitz of EPSN.com:

"Once I was made aware of it, I wanted to make sure that no resemblance of it was up or anything like that. I hope it didn't offend anyone or that anyone thought that those are my ideas or my thoughts or anything like that. I'm saddened by it. I know people that are [gay] and family members that are [gay]."

Aminu claimed that during approximately the first two years his Twitter account was active, it was hacked on more than one occasion. He said he was an infrequent user of social media and that peers would notify him that suspicious tweets had appeared on his timeline. Asked if he made a point to review his timeline after learning his account had been corrupted, Aminu said he didn't.

"I didn't pay it much mind," Aminu said. "I just changed my password and information."

The tweets surfaced last week on Imgur and were given more prominence by Blazers Edge, a website that covers the team. They were deleted shortly after appearing on Blazers Edge.

I am not buying Aminu's explanation. Had this been a couple of tweets sent in a concentrated time frame, I would accept a hacker defense. But there were 16 or 17 sent over a two-year period. If he changed his password, he wants us to believe that this determined hacker kept cracking it and reposting more anti-gay tweets. And if his account was hacked more than once, I would have thought that Aminu would have deleted anything he did not post.

He has sent 6,712 total tweets since joining the service in September 2009, so this is someone who regularly posts, making it even more odd that he wouldn't have notice some bogus posts that cast him in a negative light. Many commenters on Blazer Edge are also skeptical of Aminu's hacker claim.

On the other hand, his hacker defense is impossible to refute, giving him plausible deniability with the Blazers. Since the last homophobic tweets was sent almost five years, it's very possible that — assuming he wrote them — his views on gay people have evolved and that he would never write anything like that again. That's one good thing to come out of this.