The Oklahoma City Thunder came away with a 108-102 victory in game one against the defending NBA Champion Golden State Warriors. In a post-game interview OKC Thunder center Steven Adams made a post-game comment that many are debating what was said and the intent regarding what he said. You might ask what he said that could be deemed offensive. Steven Adams described the Warriors’ guards as “quick little monkeys” in a postgame interview with ESPN’s Chris Broussard. His remarks created a firestorm on social media.
In an effort to apologize for his choice of words he came with the following: “It was just a poor choice of words, mate,” Adams told USA TODAY Sports. “I wasn’t thinking straight. I didn’t know it was going to upset anyone, but I’m truly sorry. It was just a poor choice of words. I was just trying to express how difficult it was chasing those guys around.”
Additionally, he offered “It’s just different, mate. Different words, different expressions, and stuff like that. But they obviously can be taken differently, depending on which country you’re in. I’m assimilating, mate, still trying to figure out the boundaries. But I definitely overstepped them tonight.”
Mr. Adams, you are being given a pass by many sports fans and pundits for your inappropriate statement with many saying that you are still relatively new to the United States and the NBA. You need to understand that you play in a league that consists of 80% players of color. Because of that and the fact that you are on a team where the two best players are African-American, you would think that you would by now have a good relationship with your teammates as well as some sense of the correct choice of words to describe great players. How about referring to them by their name or just the team name?
You may not have had intentions of saying something that is hurtful or offensive to someone or a group of people but as you can now see, your choice of words does matter regardless of intention when the camera and microphone are live and in your face.
By Dr. Fred Cromartie
Dr. Fred J. Cromartie, is the Director of Doctoral Studies at the United States Sports Academy, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.