Green Bay Packers wide receiver Devin Funchess issued an apology on Twitter early Sunday morning after he used an anti-Asian slur during a press conference on Saturday.
During that press conference, Funchess said he was happy he could speak with media in-person again instead of online, saying "I can talk to people now,” according to ESPN. "I like smiles."
He said he could tell when people were smiling even when they were wearing masks, pointing to his eyes and subsequently used a racial slur against the Asian community.
Following the press conference, a Milwaukee-based sports reporter and anchor, Lily Zhao, called the comments “disappointing.”
“This is disappointing to see and hear from Devin Funchess,” Zhao tweeted on Saturday, including a video of the presser.
This is disappointing to see and hear from Devin Funchess https://t.co/3zlkmOzkDb— Lily Zhao (@LilySZhao) August 8, 2021
“I want to apologize for the disparaging remark I used tonight. It was not ok. I have grown to develop deep personal and business relationships in the Asian community!” Funchess said in a statement he tweeted out on Sunday.
“I meant no harm, and those that know me, know I have love and respect for all cultures and people. I will learn from this and will continue to grow as a person. I’m forever sorry!” he continued.
The general manager for the Packers, Brian Gutekunst, called the remark “unacceptable” on Sunday and said it was “not condoned.”
"We've addressed it with Devin; he knows it's unacceptable," Gutekunst said, according to ESPN. "I do think he's sincerely remorseful and will hopefully learn from this. He will, and hopefully our team can learn from this and we'll move forward. I do want to say that is something that is not condoned and it doesn't live up to what we believe here with the Green Bay Packers.”
Gutekunst said he believed Funchess’ apology was sincere but added that “it certainly can't happen again.”