Giants rookie apologizes for derogatory comments

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com September 27 2002 11:00 PM ET

New York Giants rookie tight end Jeremy Shockey apologized on Thursday for disparaging gays in an appearance on Howard Stern's radio show two weeks ago. "It's a show just for comedy," Shockey told the New York Daily News. "I guess I do regret saying it. I didn't think anyone was going to make a big deal out of it. I'm not prejudiced against anybody's beliefs or what they do in their off time. I do regret saying something like that. Whatever I did to offend people, I apologize. I'm not prejudiced in any way."

On the show Shockey said he hoped there were no gay players in the NFL and that he probably wouldn't have tolerated a gay teammate in college. According to Outsports.com, a Web site for gay sports fans and athletes that published a partial transcript of the September 10 interview this week, Shockey was asked if he thought there were any gay players in the NFL. "I don't know," Shockey said. "I don't like to think about that. I hope not." When asked if he had any gay teammates in college, Shockey said, "No. I mean, if I knew there was a gay guy on my college football team, I probably wouldn't, you know, stand for it. You know, I think, you know, they're going to be in the shower with us and stuff, so I don't think that's gonna work. That's not gonna work, you know?"

On Thursday, Shockey said he was just trying to be funny and didn't mean to offend anyone. Pat Hanlon, the Giants vice president of communications, said Shockey told him it was all "a poor attempt at humor." But Cyd Zeigler, president of Outsports.com, who also wrote the story on Shockey's comments for the Los Angeles-based Web site, said that after listening to the radio interview, he doesn't buy Shockey's explanation at all. "Having heard the tape and heard the tone in which he said it, I don't believe that," Zeigler said. "There was not an ounce of joking in it. How is what he said funny?"