The Cleveland Browns organization is denouncing its rookie linebacker Tank Carder’s recent slew of anti-gay tweets.
In a Twitter-based rant last week, the 23-year-old addressed a critic by tweeting “your [sic] a faggot for that.” Offended, some followers lambasted Carder’s usage of the anti-gay slur but he tweeted that they were just “butt hurt.”
Carder defended using the word “faggot,” writing that although he doesn’t “agree” with gay and lesbians, using the slur doesn’t make him a homophobe. “It’s just a word,” he reasoned in a tweet.
The tweets have since been deleted.
OutSports, a gay sports blog, noted that Carder said in a tweet he wouldn’t apologize for his words, but later backtracked on his ramblings in series of apologetic tweets.
“If I offended anyone in anyway, I do apologize, thought the guy was bashing team sports, big misunderstanding,” Carder tweeted Monday. Later that day, he said he wasn’t “bashing the gay community in any way.”
“...if you knew me you would know I wouldn't do that. Again I'm sorry if you were offended,” tweeted Carder.
The Browns said Carder’s statements are not representative of the organization and denounced his words.
“These comments are certainly not reflective of the Cleveland Browns organization, nor do we condone them in any fashion. We have spoken with Tank and have made this very clear to him,” a spokesperson from the Browns said in a statement obtained by OutSports.
Reaction has been swift from other players condemning Carder’s comments. OutSports published a letter from Vince Pryor, a former defensive end for Texas Christian University, Carder’s alma mater. Pryor, who came out to his team in 1994, assailed Carder’s tweets in the heartfelt note.
“When you call someone a faggot, you reinforce all of the fears that I struggled with and other young gay athletes struggle with to this day,” wrote Pryor. “Although it may be hard for you to understand, this kind of fear and isolation can be devastating, as it was for me for many years.”
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