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NFL player tweets anti-Asian slur, then apologizes and says he didn't realize the term is derogatory

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'You reporters can look for another story to blow up'

Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Carlton Davis celebrates after his team's Super Bowl victory in February (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Carlton Davis posted a tweet containing an anti-Asian slur Sunday night — but later apologized and said he didn't realize the term is derogatory, ESPN reported.

What are the details?

"Gotta stop letting g**** in Miami," Davis wrote in his since-deleted tweet. He later apologized and said he thought the term meant "lame."

"I would never offend any group of people," Davis, 24, wrote in a subsequent tweet that included what ESPN said is an image from an undisclosed slang dictionary entry. "You reporters can look for another story to blow up. The term was directed towards a producer claiming he 'ran Miami.'" Davis added that he'll now "retire that word from my vocabulary giving the hard times our Asian family are enduring."

He also tweeted that "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."

More from ESPN:

According to a report from the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, hate crimes against Asian Americans have risen nearly 150% in major U.S. cities over the past year, with several incidents making headlines in recent weeks.

Davis has spoken out against racism in the past and about his experiences as a Black man. He is part of the Bucs' social justice board, which met with community leaders last summer to discuss ways police can build better relationships with the Black community.

How did folks react?

Reaction to the news seemed mixed, with some commenters saying Davis deserves a pass while others said he should be treated like other athletes who've uttered slurs — such as Meyers Leonard, who found himself in hot water with the NBA and his team, the Miami Heat, last month after using an anti-Semitic slur during a video game livestream.

Leonard soon was banned "indefinitely" from the team and then traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder, which released him last week. Like Davis, Leonard said he didn't know what "k***" meant at the time he uttered it.

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