The NBA fined Amar'e Stoudemire $50,000 Tuesday for "using offensive and derogatory language in a Twitter message" last weekend.
The Knicks power forward used foul language and a gay slur during a Twitter exchange with a fan.
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"I am a huge supporter of civil rights for all people," Stoudemire said in a statement. "I am disappointed in myself for my statement to a fan. I should have known better and there is no excuse."
The fan, John Ferrelli, is a 19-year-old college student from Connecticut and goes by the Twitter handle @BFerrelli. B is for his nickname, "Butch." He had tweeted a message to Stoudemire that read: "You better come back stronger and quicker to make up for last season."
Ferrelli's tweet also included an obscenity directed at Stoudemire.
Stoudemire responded with a direct message, which only the recipient can see, that included an obscenity and gay slur. Ferrelli subsequently posted it on his public Twitter page, and it was picked up by national media outlets. Ferrelli said he posted it because people who follow him didn't believe that Stoudemire responded to him.
"And I was just excited," Ferrelli said. "I actually laughed about it . . . I never wanted it to get out the way it was. I didn't really think it through enough that it would get out to the whole world basically."
Early Sunday morning, Stoudemire sent Ferrelli an apology, also via direct message. "I was happy he apologized," Ferrelli said. "I accepted the apology. I tweeted him back and I thought that was going to be the end of it, but apparently not."
Ferrelli said he felt badly that Stoudemire was fined but wants to put the situation behind him. "I still love the Knicks," Ferrelli said. "I'm still a Knicks fan and I always will be."
The Knicks had no comment on Stoudemire's actions or his fine.