NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Former Knick Amar’e Stoudemire says he would go to great lengths to avoid a gay teammate.
Stoudemire, who now plays in Israel, was asked hypothetically by the Israeli website Walla Sport how he would feel about having a homosexual teammate.
“I’m going to shower across the street,” he said. “I’m going to make sure my change of clothes are around the corner, and I’m going to take a different route to the gym.”
When asked if he was joking, the six-time NBA All-Star said, “I mean, there’s always a truth within a joke.”
Stoudemire’s comments appear in a video in which other Israeli League players said they wouldn’t mind playing with a gay teammate.
The remarks drew swift criticism from former NBA player John Amaechi, who came out as gay after his career ended.
“These are serious times and we need serious people to lead important conversations, not petulant man-children spouting puerile prejudice,” Amaechi told TMZ.
Amaechi added that someone should tell Stoudemire to “stop flattering himself.”
It’s not the first time Stoudemire, 34, has made a homophobic remark. While playing for the Knicks in 2012, Stoudemire was fined $50,000 by the NBA for using a gay slur in a direct message to a fan on Twitter.
Stoudemire announced his retirement from the NBA last July, signing a one-day contract to retire as a Knick. A week later, however, he signed a two-year deal with Hapoel Jerusalem, a team he co-owns.