Sometimes knowing the difference between a direct message and a public reply isn’t enough to keep a celebrity from getting into trouble on Twitter. Amar’e Stoudemire of the New York Knicks knew better than to openly tweet an anti-gay slur at a fan. But he failed to consider that the target of his slur could make the tweet public.
That’s exactly what Brian Ferrelli did after Stoudemire called him a “fag,” and now the basketball star faces scrutiny from the National Basketball Association. Stoudemire later apologized directly to Ferrelli, but the lesson he learned is this: “With an electronic history of nearly every communiqué, we’re all being held accountable for our words.”
Update, June 27: The NBA, which lately has taken a hard line against anti-gay slurs, fined Stoudemire $50,000 “for using offensive and derogatory language in a Twitter message.” Stoudemire also reiterated his apology for the incident: “I am disappointed in myself for my statement to a fan. I should have known better, and there is no excuse.”
It’s the second time Stoudemire has been fined for tweeting. The first fine, $7,500, was for tweeting during a game.