WINNIPEG - A tweet with an homophobic slur from Winnipeg Jets forward Evander Kane while watching Game 4 of the NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs caused some controversy Thursday night.
As he has done frequently throughout the NBA playoffs, Kane was sharing his opinion of the action when he made a comment about a play made by Heat forward and former Toronto Raptor Chris Bosh. “Chris Bosh looked like a fairy going to the rim,” Kane tweeted.
When negative reaction began to come in, Kane reacted by tweeting “Man there's a lot of overly sensitive people on here. It's unreal how some of you on here turn absolutely nothing into something so wrong.”
But after speaking with Patrick Burke, founder of anti-homophobia organization You Can Play, Kane removed the offending tweet and offered an apology.
“Just spoke with Patrick Burke + @YouCanPlayTeam and would like to sincerely apologize for a tweet where I used a homophobic term. I made a mistake and will learn from this. I apologize to anyone I offended by my tweet and this will not happen again. #YouCanPlay”
Burke gave his version of events on Twitter as well.
“Since this appears to be ‘controversial’ to some of Twitter, yes Fairy is a gay slur. Fun part is for those doubting me, I’m at the NIKE LGBT Sports Summit so I just took a survey of 30 gay athletes and they agree.
“That said, it isn’t always commonly known and I genuinely believe Evander didn’t know the implications for gay people. I know for a fact Evander wrote his own apology (not always true of these apologies) and wants to make amends for his mistake.”
Earlier in the day, Kane went under the knife and the Jets reported he had successful surgery to remove pressure from a nerve in his left foot and that the recovery is expected to be 4-to-6 weeks.
Kane, who signed a six-year deal worth $31.5 million last September, played through the pain during the stretch drive, finishing with 17 goals and 33 points in 48 games for the Jets this season.
Kane isn’t shy about having his voice heard on social media, but occasionally his tweets have rubbed people the wrong way. He took a lot of flak during the NHL lockout when he posted a picture of himself with a wad of cash on a Las Vegas hotel balcony in what was meant to be a joking ode to boxer Floyd Mayweather’s cash phone.
The reaction hasn’t always been negative on the social media front, though.
Just last week, Kane unleashed a rant via Twitter over his frustration on missing the playoffs in the first four seasons of his NHL career and how he planned on changing that next season.