Saying he respects the gay and lesbian community, Minnesota forward Andrew Wiggins tried to clarify comments he made about Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dennis Schroder’s behavior during a heated game.
Thunder center Nerlens Noel was taken off the court on a stretcher in the third quarter after Wiggins collided with Noel on a dunk attempt Tuesday night. Schroder, unhappy about the play and other incidents, eventually was given a technical foul for an altercation with Timberwolves guard Jeff Teague.
After the game, Wiggins said Schroder’s actions were unwarranted. According to audio from the locker room, Wiggins appeared to say: “He was just gay. He was acting crazy for no reason.”
A few hours later, Wiggins went on Twitter and tried to explain what he said.
“I’d like to clarify what I said tonight during my post game media session. I said: ‘I don’t know what’s wrong with him he was just getting… acting crazy for no reason,’” he tweeted.
In his next post, Wiggins said: “I have the utmost love and respect for the LGBTQIA community and I would never use any term to disrespect them in anyway.”
The public comments were made after a competitive game, during which Noel was injured.
On the dunk attempt, Noel took an elbow in the face as Wiggins went up, and Noel’s head hit the ground hard . A foul was called on Noel. The play was reviewed, and no additional fouls were called. Noel was down for several minutes before being taken from the court. Players from both teams jawed at each other while Noel was on the ground.
Thunder coach Billy Donovan said after the game that Noel was taken to the University of Oklahoma’s OU Medical Center. He did not offer details on the injury.
Wiggins said he didn’t mean to hurt Noel.
“I just tried to make an aggressive move and dunk,” Wiggins said. “He tried to contest it. I think he fell wrong. I didn’t really see it until I saw him on the ground. Hopefully, he’s good. I hope nothing but the best for him. I hope he gets healthy soon and comes back stronger.”
The skirmish between Schroder and Teague came a few minutes after the collision. Two technicals were called on Teague and he was ejected.
Minnesota won the game 119-117.
© 2019 The Canadian Press