Minnesota Timberwolves star Anthony Edwards is apologizing for homophobic language made on his social media over the weekend. The 21-year-old high flyer posted a video on his Instagram Stories where he commented on a group of men hanging out together as “queer-ass n-ggas.” He then said, “Look what the world done came to.”
However, Edwards soon removed the clip from IG, and he expressed regret for his statements on Sunday afternoon. “What I said was immature, hurtful, and disrespectful, and I’m incredibly sorry,” he tweeted. “It’s unacceptable for me or anyone to use that language in such a hurtful way, there’s no excuse for it, at all. I was raised better than that!”
Neither the NBA nor the Timberwolves have made any official statement about Edwards’ video. But the 2021 Rookie of the Year candidate will likely be disciplined in the form of a fine. Other notable NBA players have faced penalties for homophobic language in the past, too. Kobe Bryant was hit with a $100,000 fine in 2011 for hurling a gay slur at a referee. Rajon Rondo was suspended for one game in 2015 after a similar confrontation with a referee.
More recently, though, Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic was fined $25,000 in 2018 when he made the following observation about playing against Wendell Carter, Jr.: “No homo, he’s longer than you expect.” Last year, Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant was fined twice as much as Jokic after comedian Michael Rapaport leaked a private exchange between himself and Durant, in which the 2x NBA champ made homophobic and misogynistic insults towards Rapaport and his family.
But one term that has escaped sanction — for now — is the term “pause. ” Dwight Howard used it during a 2011 postgame interview while describing his difficulty guarding Andrew Bynum. Chris Paul said it later that season, too, when his teammate Trevor Ariza enthusiastically grabbed him while being interviewed after a playoff win.
James Harden snuck it in during a 2018 playoffs postgame conference, when his then-Houston Rockets teammate Clint Capela said it was important for the players to “bring the energy from the tip until the end.”
And Durant has also employed it, too. He was asked how he felt after a March 2022 loss to the Miami Heat, returning from a month-and-a-half layoff. “I feel great. I feel great, I’m only gonna get better, more comfortable out there,” he told reporters. “Take more of a load out there, too — pause — when I get more games under my belt. It felt solid.”