(The Root) — Ever since last summer, New York Knicks forward Amar'e Stoudemire has displayed an uncanny knack for doing the wrong thing. Even worse than being a leading candidate for the Bad Judgment Award, he's also a favorite for the Bad Timing Award.
He attempted a fancy dunk and injured his back during warmups, leading him to miss the second half of a game … in the 2011 playoffs. He punched a glass case surrounding a fire extinguisher and suffered lacerations on his left hand, leading him to miss a game … in the playoffs last month.
Now Stoudemire has caused himself more grief — and cost himself $50,000 — by unleashing a homophobic slur at a fan on Twitter … during Gay Pride weekend.
The insult wasn't intended for public consumption, sent instead as a direct message. But the fan, Brian Ferrelli, re-tweeted a screen shot of Stoudemire's response to a suggestion that he come back "a lot stronger and quicker" next season.
"F—- you," reads the direct message. "I don't have to do any thing fag."
Stoudemire realized his gaffe 10 hours later and sent another direct message to Ferrelli: "I apologize for what I said earlier. I just got off a plane and had time to think about it. Sorry bro!! No Excuses. Won't happen again."
That didn't stop the league from slapping Stoudemire with a $50,000 fine, which prompted another mea culpa: "I am a huge supporter of civil rights for all people," he 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."
He's absolutely right about those last two points, especially given his interest in the fashion industry, which draws a number of openly gay men. Stoudemire has collaborated on a women's collection with Rachel Roy and been featured in a Vogue spread. Last weekend in Milan, he attended a dinner hosted by Calvin Klein and disclosed plans for a men's fashion line.
Stoudemire is the latest athlete to show signs of being a nit-Twit, but he's not the first and won't be the last. In October, NBA forward Kenyon Martin fired off a host of Tweets attacking his "haters," calling them names, threatening to kick their asses, talking about their mamas and hoping they catch AIDS. That moved his to No. 1 among athletes' infamous tweets, replacing NFL halfback Rashard Mendenhall's thoughts on Osama bin Laden and the Sept. 11 attacks.
Having proved himself prone to emotional outbursts, perhaps Stoudemire should delete his Twitter account. Or at least seek a second opinion before he hits "Tweet."