NBA hands Anthony Edwards hefty fine over ‘hurtful’ homophobic video

NBA player Anthony Edwards is shown playing during a Memphis Grizzlies v Minnesota Timberwolves game

Basketball player Anthony Edwards has been fined $40,000 (around £35,000) for making anti-LGBTQ remarks in a video posted to his Instagram account.

The now-deleted video reportedly showed Edwards, 21, rolling down his car window and calling a group of men “queer-ass n****s”, The Guardian reported on 12 September.

He later apologised in a Twitter post, calling his actions “immature” and “disrespectful”.

“What I said was immature, hurtful, and disrespectful, and I’m incredibly sorry,” he wrote.

“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!”

On Tuesday (20 September), the NBA said it was fining Edwards for the use of “offensive and derogatory” language, according to NBC News.

Tim Connelly said on behalf of Edwards’ team, The Minnesota Timberwolves: “We are disappointed in the language and actions Anthony Edwards displayed on social media.

“The Timberwolves are committed to being an inclusive and welcoming organisation for all and apologise for the offense this has caused to so many.”

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

Several major NBA players have been fined thousands of dollars in the past for homophobic language, including the case of Kevin Durant being fined $50,000 (around £44,000) for a string of vile, abusive messages toward actor Michael Rapaport.

The first active publicly gay NBA player, Jason Collins, played for the Timberwolves in 2008 and 2009 before coming out in 2013.

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

He said in an interview with Out Sports: “There is that 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, 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.

“I hope that they can look at my story, that they can look at Robbie Rodgers‘ story, Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi, whichever story is out there that can inspire you to live your authentic life.