Amid the “#StopAsianHate” movement, Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Carlton Davis, who serves as part of the team’s social justice board, tweeted an anti-Asian slur on Sunday.
In the since-deleted tweet, Davis wrote: “Gotta stop letting gooks in Miami.”
The 24-year-old athlete, who is black, has apologized but stated that he understood the slur to describe someone who is “lame.”
“I would never offend any group of people,” Davis tweeted. “You reporters can look for another story to blow up.” The defensive back maintained that he meant to insult an unnamed producer who touted he “ran Miami.”
Davis said he would “retire that word” from his vocabulary given “the hard times our Asian family are enduring.”
According to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism’s study released last month, hate crimes against Asian Americans have risen almost 150 percent in large cities across the United States in 2020. Activists have blamed the attacks on Donald Trump’s rhetoric and his supporters but high-profile hate crimes on Asians in recent months have been carried out disproportionately by black suspects.
The Asian American Journalists Association's sports task force said Monday via press release that the organization is "disappointed by [Davis’s] sentiment” and called the slur “hateful.”
Davis has been outspoken on social-justice issues. Last year, Davis alleged in an essay published on the Buccaneers Instagram page that he was pulled over by police and was mistreated for being black.