Update Sept. 12: Minnesota Timberwolves president of basketball operations Tim Connelly has issued a statement through the team completely void of substance that simply reiterates broad strokes of inclusion and fails to even mention the LGBT community:
“We are disappointed in the language and actions Anthony Edwards displayed on social media. The Timberwolves are committed to being an inclusive and welcoming organization for all.”
The Timberwolves have not shared this statement, or any news of Edwards’ homophobic language, on social media.
Sadly this is all pointing to another example of NBA teams and the league ignoring the homophobic language of their players. That the club couldn’t even mention the LGBT community or gay men in their statement speaks volumes.
Original story: Anthony Edwards is apologizing for using anti-gay language to demean and belittle a group of men, then sharing it publicly on social media.
Does the apology mean much? And should Edwards now face disciplinary action from the NBA and the Minnesota Timberwolves?
The posted video shows a number of shirtless men with someone assumed to be Edwards saying “look at these queer-ass ni**as man.”
It was clearly not meant as a compliment.
And that’s essentially the point. Some gay men call one another queer. Some lesbians, trans, nonbinary and other people do as well. ‘Queer Eye’ just won yet another Emmy. The word — like “The N Word” — in itself isn’t his horrific crime against humanity.
When you use the word in a way that is intended to demean others — like “The N Word” — you change the meaning and impact of the word.
Edwards’ “apology” is a little hard to stomach, frankly, claiming it’s not who he is and he “raised better than that”...
What I said was immature, hurtful, and disrespectful, and I’m incredibly sorry. It’s unacceptable for me or anyone to use that language in such a hurtful way, there’s no excuse for it, at all. I was raised better than that!— Anthony Edwards (@theantedwards_) September 11, 2022
Mind you, this wasn’t some thoughtless off-the-cuff comment. He intentionally chose to post it on social media. That makes it harder to swallow.
Unlike the dozens of current NBA players Outsports who had posted anti-gay language when they were minors, Edwards is 21 years old. He’s been a professional athlete for two seasons. He does in fact know better.
And he did it anyway.
As shared by Star Tribune columnist Chris Hine — who’s gay — pointed out, a fine of $50,000 from the NBA should be coming. It will also be interesting to watch how the Timberwolves, as well as the National Basketball Players’ Association, handles this. Could Edwards miss games?
Of course there is a large group of people who are now complaining about those “overly sensitive” gays and looking to dismiss this with a Twitter apology.
Yet make no mistake — What Edwards said was clearly homophobic and intended to share homophobia with his hundreds of thousands of followers.
He wanted to spread his language, which was homophobic, and I hope he takes the opportunity to do more to express love and support for gay men.