Former NBA Star Amare Stoudemire in Hot Water for Homophobic Comments

'I would shower on the other side of the road,' Stoudemire, who now plays in Israel, told local media; 'He clearly was joking,' team says.

Hapoel Jerusalem's Amar'e Stoudemire during his team's Eurocup quarterfinal contest against Gran Canaria in Jerusalem, February 28, 2017.
Hapoel Jerusalem's Amar'e Stoudemire during his team's Eurocup quarterfinal contest against Gran Canaria in Jerusalem, February 28, 2017.Credit: Sharon Bukov

Former NBA star Amar'e Stoudemire is in hot water after making Homophobic comments in an interview with Israeli media.

Stoudemire had taken part in a program called "Identical Question" a month ago, in which basketball players were asked how they would feel about having a gay teammate.

"I would dress on the other side," said the Hapoel Jerusalem center in the interview that was released on Tuesday.

"I would shower on the other side of the road. I would drive a different route to the arena."

Eyal Shulman of Maccabi Kiryat Gat had replied to the same question: "It doesn't bother me. We had such a guy at the beginning of the season."

Taken aback, the reporter asked Stoudemire if he was joking. He replied, "There is some truth in every joke."

The league did not take too kindly to Stoudemire's homophobic statement, according to Walla. "The league administration condemns Stoudemire's comment and is convinced that most league player have and will not have a problem playing with a gay teammate."

Hapoel Jerusalem commented: "He clearly was joking."

Media outlets from the Washington Post to CBS and NBC reported on the interview.

This incident was not the first time Stoudemire derided members of the LGBTQ community. In 2012, he tweeted a gay slur against a fan. A few hours later, he tweeted: "I apologize for what I said earlier. Sorry bro!! No Excuses. Won't happen again." Nonetheless, the NBA fined him $50,000.

Stoudemire's riling comments came just two days after he was honored with the Martin Luther King Jr. Award in Israel for his philanthropy and leadership in building bridges among communities. The honor from the Israel, the Jewish National Fund and the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York is presented annually in to individuals who embody the spirit and ideals of King.

With reporting from JTA.

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