JERUSALEM (AP) — Former NBA player Amare Stoudemire has apologized for telling an Israeli website that he would avoid a gay teammate.

Stoudemire told Walla Sport when asked about the possibility of having a gay teammate: “I’m going to shower across the street, make sure my change of clothes are around the corner.” When asked if he was joking, he said “there’s always a truth within a joke.”

In a statement released Thursday by his current team, Israel’s Hapoel Jerusalem, Stoudemire says the questions were “hypothetical” and all his answers had “a comedic undertone.” He says he’s “deeply sorry for offending anyone” and he’s “open to creating a dialogue to assist the fight the LGBT community encounters daily.”

Stoudemire’s comments drew criticism from gay former NBA players Jason Collins and John Amaechi.

When Stoudemire played for the New York Knicks in 2012, he was fined $50,000 by the NBA after tweeting a gay slur at a fan.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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