Timberwolves’ guard Anthony Edwards has been fined by the NBA for his use of anti-gay language in an Instagram story earlier this month.
The league announced a $40,000 fine for Edwards for “using offensive and derogatory language” on social media.
“Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards has been fined $40,000 for using offensive and derogatory language on social media. Edwards has acknowledged that his actions were inappropriate,” Byron Spruell, President of League Operations for the NBA, wrote in a statement.
According to Bleacher Report, The video was posted on Edwards’ Instagram story on Sept. 11. It showed (warning: video contains anti-gay language and a racial slur) a group of shirtless men standing on a sidewalk when a voice is heard calling them “queer-ass n—as.”
According to TMZ, There was almost immediate backlash and, as the league noted, the 21-year-old former first overall pick (2020 NBA Draft) seemed to offer a heartfelt apology for his actions, saying sorry on social media.
“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!” the NBA star said.
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Timberwolves president of basketball operations Tim Connelly released a statement about Edwards’ comments on Sept. 12.
“We are disappointed in the language and actions Anthony Edwards displayed on social media,” Connelly said. “The Timberwolves are committed to being an inclusive and welcoming organization for all and apologize for the offense this has caused to so many.”
Basketball Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar condemned Edwards’ video in a post on his Substack, noting it “perpetuates prejudice against a group and that prejudice often leads to restricting rights and to violence.”
Abdul-Jabbar cited a similar situation from 2021 in which Kevin Durant was fined $50,000 by the NBA for using homophobic and misogynistic language in a series of direct messages to actor Michael Rapaport.
“Edwards needs to repair the damage with some voluntary community service with LGBTQ+ organizations, particularly youth groups, to show his support,” Abdul-Jabbar wrote.
Edwards was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NBA draft. He is entering his third season with the T-Wolves.
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Sources: TMZ, Kareem Substack, Bleacher Report
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