Comedian Aries Spears says he sees no need to apologize for a comment he made playing into gay stereotypes when discussing out football player Michael Sam in a recent appearance on ESPN's SportsNation.
Appearing on the show October 1, Spears said, "I went out and got my first Michael Sam jersey. It's got 15 S's on the back," presumably referring to stereotypes about how gay men speak. Spears has received some backlash over the comment, but this week he told TMZ Sports reporters, who approached him at Los Angeles International Airport, that he has nothing to apologize for.
Spears told TMZ he feels the objections to his joke came mostly from ESPN's parent company, Disney, saying, "Disney runs it, they got their guidelines," adding, "[The SportsNation hosts] seemed to like it." From video of the show, however, it would appear that SportsNation's Michelle Beadle was not amused, and while cohost Marcellus Wiley laughed, he told Spears, "You ain't right."
When TMZ asked Spears to explain the joke, he responded, "You can figure it out, just concentrate." Still, he stands by the comment, saying, "There's nothing to apologize for. It's a joke."
Spears, who has made some other questionable comments regarding Sam, did wish the footballer, now a member of the Dallas Cowboys practice squad, success in the NFL. "I hope he does well," Spears said. "He's a talented dude."