Former NBA star Amar’e Stoudemire is under fire regarding comments he made during an interview with Walla Sport, an Israeli website, ESPN reports.
In the segment Stoudemire, who currently plays overseas for Hapoel Jerusalem in the Israeli Premier League, is asked: “Would you have a problem with a gay teammate?”
“I’m going to shower across the street, make sure my change of clothes are around the corner,” Stoudemire said in response. “And I’m going to drive — take a different route to the gym.”
He doubled down when the reporter asked if he was joking, saying, “I mean, there’s always a truth within a joke.”
In the same interview, several Hapoel players seemed to take no issue with having a gay teammate.
Stoudemire, who began his career with an eight-year stint with the Phoenix Suns followed by five years with the New York Knicks, also played for the Dallas Mavericks and the Miami Heat before retiring from the NBA in July.
Jason Collins, the first NBA player to publicly come out as gay, tweeted he was disheartened Stoudemire recently received an award in Martin Luther King Jr.’s honor from Hapoel Jerusalem.
“His homophobic comments have no place in sport or in our society,” Collins said in the tweet.
The Walla Sport interview is the second reported incident where Stoudemire spoke out of turn regarding the LGBTQ community.
In 2012 Stoudemire lashed out on twitter, calling a Knicks fan a “f—–” after he was criticized about his season performance.
He eventually apologized after the NBA fined him $50,000.
“I am a huge supporter of civil rights for all people,” Stoudemire said. “I am disappointed in myself for my statement to a fan. I should have known better and there is no excuse.”