NBA ‘reviewing’ Anthony Edwards’ ‘hurtful and disrespectful’ homophobic comments

Anthony Edwards #1 of the Minnesota Timberwolves reacts against the Memphis Grizzlies during Game Two of the Western Conference First Round at FedExForum

NBA star Anthony Edwards has been reprimanded by his team after posting a homophobic story on Instagram.

Edwards shocked fans on Sunday (11 September) after referring to a group of men in a social media post as “queer-ass n****s”, according to The Guardian.

He later apologised in a Twitter post on the same day, saying: “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.”

The Minnesota Timberwolves – which the 22-year-old plays for – condemned his language in a statement issued on Monday (12 September), saying the team was “disappointed”.

“The Timberwolves are committed to being an inclusive and welcoming organisation for all and apologise for the offence this has caused for so many,” president of basketball operations Tim Connelly said.

The NBA is reportedly looking into appropriate disciplinary measures according to league spokesperson Mike Bass, who told CNN on Monday it was “reviewing the matter.”

Anthony Edwards dribbles the ball against the Memphis Grizzlies in the first quarter of the game.

Anthony Edwards dribbles the ball against the Memphis Grizzlies in the first quarter of the game. (David Berding/Getty)

The NBA is known for having a zero-tolerance policy on homophobic, misogynistic, or otherwise bigoted language from players or internal members.

Several major NBA names have been fined thousands of dollars in the past for homophobic rhetoric, including in 2021 when Kevin Durant was fined $50,000 for using vile, abusive language towards actor Michael Rapaport in a string of private messages online.

Roy Hibbert was fined $75,000 in 2013 after he called the media at a press conference “motherf***ers and said NBA icon LeBron James “was scoring in the post or getting to the paint cause he was stretching me out so much – no homo.”

‘Fear of stepping forward’

Followers in the comments of Edwards’ apology debated whether his statement was convincing. Some claimed that they “don’t understand how who I am as a person would be so concerning to you and why you have such disdain for us,” while others said that the player was young and that “everyone makes mistakes”.

The first active publicly gay NBA player, Jason Collins, played for the Timberwolves in 2008 and 2009.

Since Collins, no other player in the NBA has come out, which Collins attributes to the “fear of stepping forward.”

“I think it’s up to the rest of us to try to create that environment where those closeted athletes out there know that when they do choose to step forward,” he said.

“That they will be supported and championed, and continue to play the sport, continue to evolve, and not feel that they have to hide who they are.”