Middle East

Ex-NBA star Stoudemire sorry about gay teammate comments

FILE - In this March 28, 2016, file photo, Miami Heat forward Amar'e Stoudemire shoots during warmups before the Heat met the Brooklyn Nets in an NBA basketball game, in Miami. Stoudemire told an Israeli sports website in an article published online on Feb. 28, 2017, that he would avoid a gay teammate. (AP Photo/Joe Skipper, File)

FILE - In this March 28, 2016, file photo, Miami Heat forward Amar'e Stoudemire shoots during warmups before the Heat met the Brooklyn Nets in an NBA basketball game, in Miami. Stoudemire told an Israeli sports website in an article published online on Feb. 28, 2017, that he would avoid a gay teammate. (AP Photo/Joe Skipper, File)  (The Associated Press)

Former NBA player Amare Stoudemire has apologized for telling an Israeli website that he would avoid a gay teammate.

Stoudemire told Walla Sport when asked about the possibility of having a gay teammate: "I'm going to shower across the street, make sure my change of clothes are around the corner." When asked if he was joking, he said "there's always a truth within a joke."

In a statement released Thursday by his current team, Israel's Hapoel Jerusalem, Stoudemire says the questions were "hypothetical" and all his answers had "a comedic undertone." He says he's "deeply sorry for offending anyone" and he's "open to creating a dialogue to assist the fight the LGBT community encounters daily."

Stoudemire's comments drew criticism from gay former NBA players Jason Collins and John Amaechi.

When Stoudemire played for the New York Knicks in 2012, he was fined $50,000 by the NBA after tweeting a gay slur at a fan.