TAMPA — Bucs defensive back Carlton Davis apologized for using an anti-Asian slur Sunday night in a since-deleted tweet, saying he was unaware of its racial insensitivity.
“Gotta stop letting g---- in Miami,” Davis tweeted at 6:42 p.m. Sunday.
Screenshots had been taken to document the tweet before Davis says he realized he used a derogatory term and deleted it. There has been an increase in violent assaults against Asians in the United States during the global coronavirus pandemic. The first cases were detected in China, and former President Donald Trump often referred to COVID-19 as the “Chinese virus.”
At first, Davis became defensive when confronted with his mistake.
“You reporters can look for another story to blow up,” Davis tweeted. “The term was directed toward a producer claiming he “ran Miami.”
“With that said, I will retire that word from my vocabulary given the hard times our Asian family are having.”
Davis tweeted that he would never intentionally offend anyone, saying he believed the word to mean a person is “lame” before learning it had a “much darker and negative connotation.”
“I have learned a valuable lesson and want to apologize to anyone that was offended seeing that word because we need to focus on helping each other during these tough times.”
On Monday afternoon, Bucs general manager Jason Licht said in a statement released by the team that it has been in contact with Davis regarding the tweet.
“Carlton has been an active member of our Social Justice Player Board over the past two seasons and has played a key role in our organizational support for finding peaceful and productive ways to bring attention to societal issues that have plagued our country for many years,” Licht said.
“Words carry weight, and it is incumbent upon all of us to have a thorough understanding of the words we choose and the effect they may have on others.”
The Asian American Journalists Association Sports Task Force called for Davis to help communities affected by slurs and attacks.
“Earlier today, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Carlton Davis posted a tweet that included a derogatory term historically used to refer to Asians in the early 1900s. The Asian American Journalists Association Sports Task Force is disappointed by his sentiment, especially at a time when Asians in the United States are experiencing a sharp increase in anti-Asian hate which has resulted in harassment and attacks.
“G---” is a hateful slur and is listed in AAJA’s official guidance on covering Asia and Asian Americans. The AAJA STF appreciates the swift response by the Buccaneers’ organization to address this matter. We also acknowledge Davis’ apology and look forward to seeing how he will help the affected communities.’'
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