(Editor's note: This story contains language that may be offensive to some readers.)
Responding to outcry from across the web, former TCU linebacker and current Cleveland Browns player Tank Carder apologized for tweeting a gay slur last week.
On Nov. 21, Carder responded to a joke tweeted by the Twitter account “Because I’m a Guy,” writing: “Unfollowed…your [sic] a faggot for that.” The tweet has since been deleted.
According to NBC Sports, Carder originally stood by the tweet, calling critics of his slur usage “haters” and “fools” and said they were simply “butt hurt,” a slang term for having their feelings hurt.
But Monday night, the linebacker tweeted an apology: “I want to sincerely apologize for the word I used! I did not in anyway mean to offend anyone! That tweet doesn’t define me as a person!”
He followed his apology with another tweet: “I was not bashing the gay community in any way…if you knew me you would know I wouldn’t do that. Again I’m sorry if you were offended.”
Carder also responded to charges that he was "homophobic."
“I don’t agree with being gay or lesbian at all, but saying faggot doesn’t make me a homophobe, it’s just a word,” he tweeted.
The Cleveland Browns have since released a short statement on Carder’s language.
“These comments are certainly not reflective of the Cleveland Browns organization, nor do we condone them in any fashion,” Browns spokesman Neal Gulkis said in a statement, according to CBS Cleveland. “We have spoken with Tank and have made this very clear to him.
The 2012 alumnus’ apology wasn’t enough to some, however.
Outsports.org, a website that focuses on gay sports news and commentary, said Carder’s language “cannot be tolerated” and is calling for the NFL to suspend Carder for one game and to donate the game’s check to an LGBT sports organization.
The NFL's social media policy solely restricts players from posting anything less than 90 minutes before kickoff. It does not outline any rules regarding language or attitude.
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) released a statement Wednesday morning saying they were "speaking" with the NFL about Carder's comments.
"We're hoping for a positive resolution to this, one that makes a powerful statement about how the world of professional sports should be a safe space for all fans and athletes, regardless of their sexual orientation," Aaron McQuade, director of news and field media at GLAAD, wrote.
As of 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, the NFL has not commented on Carder's comments.
In April, Carder was taken by the Buffalo Bills in the fifth round of the NFL Draft. As the 147th overall pick and 12th of the fifth round, Carter was the first former TCU player to be selected in the 2012 draft.
The Sweeny native was named Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year last season. He earned Defensive Most Valuable Player of the Game honors at the 2010 Rose Bowl, where his two-point conversion pass deflection prevented Wisconsin from tying the game in the fourth quarter.