Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Carlton Davis said he would “never offend any group of people” after tweeting an anti-Asian slur Sunday night, prompting swift backlash.
Davis tweeted “Gotta stop letting g—- in Miami” before deleting the message, according to ESPN. He wrote that he thought the slur-part of the message meant “lame.”
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“I would never offend any group of people,” the 24-year-old wrote in an apology. “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 first tweet was accompanied by an internet definition.
“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 during these tough times,” he added.
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Attacks against Asian Americans have ramped up in recent weeks. Nearly half of hate-related incidents targeting Asian Americans since the start of the coronavirus pandemic occurred in the state of California, according to a report from the Stop AAPI Hate Reporting Center, according to a March study.
The organization said it received 3,795 firsthand accounts of hate incidents nationwide from March 19, 2020, to Feb. 28, 2021. Of that total, 68.1% of the incidents were classified as verbal harassment, while 20.5% were cases of “shunning” of Asian Americans and 11.1% were cases of alleged physical assault.
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States around the country have reported a spike in violence and hate-related incidents toward Asian Americans during the pandemic. Of the reported incidents, 1,691, or roughly 45%, occurred in California. Another 517 attacks, or about 14%, occurred in New York and 158, or about 4%, occurred in Washington state. No other state accounted for more than 3% of reported incidents.
Fox News’ Thomas Barrabi contributed to this report.