Super Bowl Winner Carlton Davis Posts Anti-Asian Slur on Twitter

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback said he didn't realize the hurtful meaning of the term he used

Carlton Davis of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Carlton Davis of the Buccaneers reacts as confetti falls after Super Bowl LV. Kevin C. Cox/Getty
Kevin C. Cox/Getty

In the latest example of a professional athlete posting hate speech on social media, Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Carlton Davis tweeted out a racial slur on Sunday night.

Following in the misguided recent footsteps of NBA players Meyers Leonard and Kevin Durant as well as fellow NFLer DeSean Jackson, Davis posted the hateful term for all the world to see on social media. “Gotta stop letting g**ks in Miami,” Davis wrote in the since-deleted tweet.

Like Leonard, Durant and Jackson before him, Davis has apologized and said he didn’t realize what the term he used actually meant.

“I would never offend any group of people,” Davis wrote. “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 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.”

In an undisclosed slang dictionary entry the 24-year-old posted along with his apology, the term Davis used was listed as a synonym for lame, stupid, wack and fool.

Part of Tampa Bay’s social justice board, Davis met with local community leaders in 2020, including Tampa police chief Brian Dugans and Mayor Jane Castor, to discuss what can be done to build better relationships with area law enforcement and brainstorm better ways to hold officers accountable for their actions.

In a statement released in the wake of the tweet and subsequent apology from Davis, Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht said the team would work with the defensive back to help to eliminate injustices based on race.

“We have been in communication with Carlton regarding his social media post from Sunday evening,” Licht said. “Carlton has been an active member of our Social Justice Player Board over the past two seasons and has played a key role in our organizational support for finding peaceful and productive ways to bring attention to societal issues that have plagued our country for many years. Words carry weight and it is incumbent upon all of us to have a thorough understanding of the words we choose and the effect they may have on others. We look forward to working with Carlton to find appropriate ways to learn from this experience and continue our joint efforts to put an end to all forms of social and racial injustices.”

Drafted in the second round out of Auburn in 2018, Davis was a key contributor during Tampa’s playoff run and had five tackles in the Bucs’ win over the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV.

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