Green Bay Packers wide receiver Devin Funchess has apologized for using an anti-Asian slur during a media conference after a practice match at Lambeau Field on Saturday.
What happened: When asked by reporters if it is difficult to spot a smile under a mask, Funchess said, “I can tell you were smiling when I see your face. I can see your face. Everybody goes ch*nky and that’s when I know,” according to Packers News.
— Justis Mosqueda (@JuMosq) August 8, 2021
- Shortly after the press conference, Funchess took to Twitter to apologize for using the slur.
— Devin Funchess (@D_FUNCH) August 8, 2021
- “I want to apologize for the disparaging remark I used tonight,” he wrote. “It was not OK. I have grown to develop deep personal and business relationships in the Asian community! I meant no harm, and those that know me, know I have love and respect for all cultures and people. I will learn from this and will continue to grow as a person. I’m forever sorry!”
- Although Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst addressed the slur and called it “very unacceptable,” he said Funchess will remain with the team and will not be released “at the moment,” ESPN reported.
- “I do think he’s sincerely remorseful and will hopefully learn from this,” Gutekunst said, mentioning that they have already addressed the issue with Funchess, who now knows “it’s unacceptable.”
- “He will [learn], and hopefully our team can learn from this and we’ll move forward,” the general manager added. “I do want to say that is something that is not condoned and it doesn’t live up to what we believe here with the Green Bay Packers.”
Support and backlash: Funchess received a flood of support from his followers and fans on social media, some even accepting his apology.
Yes, Devin Funchess said something he shouldn’t have.
Personally, I don’t think he did it with hateful racist intent.
Either way, what he needs is someone to explain and help him understand why what he said was offensive.
What he doesn’t need is demeaning judgmental comments.
— Bruce Irons – Packers FTW (@BruceIronsNFL) August 8, 2021
Honestly didn’t seem intentional at all, just a poor usage of words. Learn and grow! Idc what anyone says intentional racism is different than ignorant racism.
— GO PACK GO🧀 (@rodgersisagoat) August 8, 2021
I’m Asian and I’m not even offended. There’s a difference when someone’s using it disrespectfully and they’re purposely trying to hurt others. You genuinely seem like you meant no harm by it. While that term isn’t okay, it takes courage to admit when you mess up. 👍❤️
— April Lee (@Aperillee) August 8, 2021
Made a mistake, realized the hurt it caused, learned a lesson and promised to do better. This is the way. #normalisethis
— Are you sure about that opinion? (@FACTSandDATA100) August 8, 2021
As an Asian, apology accepted. Continuing to vilify those who make a mistake and then sincerely apogize doesn’t make any sense. Mistakes without grace means people will never want to do better. We’ve all made mistakes. All we can ask is that someone learn and do better next time.
— Maria (@MariaCor7849) August 8, 2021
- However, some Twitter users still called out Funchess for what he did, including Rep. Francesca Hong (D-WI) and CBS Miami anchor Frances Wang, NBC News reported.
There needs to be a personal apology to @LilySZhao of @fox6now. In jest or in love, normalizing the use of a racial slur, especially when you have the platform as pro-athlete is never okay. It’s disrespectful and the impact is profound. This hurts. https://t.co/ulRIaS9Ntn
— Francesca Hong 홍윤정 (@FrancescaHongWI) August 8, 2021
Why are people who aren’t Asian accepting the apology in the replies 🤦🏻♀️ https://t.co/VH1abaLlzc
— Frances Wang (#FrannyInMiami) (@FrancesWangTV) August 8, 2021
If someone uses a racist term, if you are not in the targeted race, you do not get to tell those who are how to feel. Just sit this one out. If someone is offended, they have the right to call it offensive.
— Siobhan (@siobhanoc1) August 8, 2021
Enjoy that suspension. Knowing Asian people doesn’t give you a pass. Hopefully you take time to educate yourself on how using casual racism is not ok.
— everythinguneed&more (@uneedinchicago) August 8, 2021
Featured Image via Green Bay Packers