The former New York Knick star told Israeli media that he’d refuse to be in the same locker room with a gay teammate, saying, “I’m going to shower across the street, make sure my change of clothes are around the corner and I’m going to drive, take a different route to the gym.” Ex-NBA player John Amaechi, who is one of the most famous openly gay athletes ever, spoke out about the comments, telling TMZ that he’s sick and tired of negative role models like Stoudemire.
Amaechi told reporters, “Tell this man to stop flattering himself. It’s embarrassing. These are serious times and we need serious people to lead important conversations, not petulant man-children spouting puerile prejudice. There is already one too many of those holding court in the media, and the world is poorer for it. Within the world of sports there are plenty of true role models, on and off the floor, whose words are carefully chosen to uplift and integrate society not join Trump and his grinning cabal in their ‘locker room banter.’”
He continued, “In these tumultuous times, these true role models are the men and women whose voices we need to disseminate to every corner, not a braying jackass making a desperate grab for relevance amongst a constituency destined for extinction. Lastly, could someone please tell this man to stop flattering himself. It’s embarrassing.”
This isn’t the first time Amar’e has been under fire due to anti-gay comments. When he was with the Knicks in 2012, Stoudemire was fined $50,000 by the NBA after he tweeted a gay slur at a fan. He apologized for that incident in a statement, saying he’s “a huge supporter of civil rights for all people.”
He has yet to respond to John Amaechi’s rebuttal.