J.J. Redick has apologized for a video appearance he made wishing Chinese NBA fans a happy Chinese New Year where he appeared to use a racial slur. A bizarre story that took shape over the NBA’s All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles was a video that appeared online from the Chinese company Tencent.
The video was quickly taken down and reuploaded without his comments in it, but by then the footage had been copied and shown in other videos expressing outrage about the line.
“I just want to wish all of the NBA chink fans in China, a very happy Chinese New Year,” Redick appears to say.
Redick posted an explanation to Twitter on Sunday morning as the video spread online.
Later Sunday night, he posted a more thorough apology on Twitter that explained more about what happened and what went wrong. Redick claims that he was tongue-tied after deciding to change his well-wishes in mid-sentence and that he hadn’t realized what he actually said.
“Had I known it sounded anything like that, I would have been mortified and recorded the greeting over again,” Redick wrote. “That is not a word in my vocabulary but I now understand how it sounds on the video. That is not who I am — as a person, a player, a husband and a father.”
Jeremy Lin also posted a brief note on Sunday that explained he spoke with Redick and felt he believed him when he said he didn’t mean to say a racial slur on camera.
It’s a weird situation, but one that seems to be more about confusion than outrage. It’s clear Redick regrets how the video sounds, and it’s not like there is a long history of similar incidents with him to point to and indicate a pattern. If it’s a flub, it’s a big one, but it seems more odd than anything.