Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Carlton Davis apologized on Sunday night for using an anti-Asian slur in a tweet, saying he was unaware of the phrase’s racist history.
"I would never offend any group of people," Davis, 24, wrote on Twitter. "You reporters can look for another story to blow up. The term was directed towards a producer claiming he 'ran Miami' With that being said I’ll retire that word from my vocabulary giving the hard times our Asian family are enduring.”
The NFL player shared a screenshot of the slang database Urban Dictionary entry for the term “g---,” which states the slur is commonly “used in South Florida to describe a person who is lame” and is a “synonym for lame, wack, fool or stupid.”
The derogatory term targets people of Asian descent, particularly Korean and Vietnamese individuals.
Davis, who is from Carol City, Fla., wrote that he did not realize “it has a much darker, negative connotation.”
“I have learned a valuable lesson and want to apologize to anyone that was offended by seeing that word because we need to focus on helping each other during these tough times,” the 2021 Super Bowl champion concluded.
I used a term that from where I come from has always meant “lame”but I did not realize it has a much darker, negative connotation. I have learned a valuable lesson and want to apologize to anyone that was offended by seeing that word because we need to focus on helping each other— C-Murda ™ (@Carlton_Lowkey) April 5, 2021
"Gotta stop letting g---s in Miami," Davis had written in the since-deleted tweet, according to ESPN.
In response to the tweet, The Asian American Journalists Association's Sports Task Force said they're "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."
Asian Americans have faced a spike in hate crimes after the COVID-19 lockdown began in the United States, following the virus’s initial detection in Wuhan, China.
A recent study from California State University’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism showed that while overall hate crimes dropped slightly in 2020, hate crimes against Asian Americans in 16 of the country’s largest cities skyrocketed nearly 150 percent.
Stop AAPI Hate, a reporting center that tracks incidents against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, said in a report released earlier this month that it has received nearly 3,800 firsthand accounts of anti-Asian hate since March 2020.
The Anti-Defamation League found that 17 percent of Asian Americans polled said they experienced sexual harassment, stalking, physical threats, swatting, sustained harassment or having their personal information released online without their consent over the past year — a 6 percent increase from the year prior.