Blazers' Al-Farouq Aminu says he didn't write homophobic tweets

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Trail Blazers forward Al-Farouq Aminu said Friday that he did not write the homophobic tweets from 2010 and 2011 that surfaced on his Twitter feed this past week.

The posts were part of a collection of older, archived tweets by NBA players aggregated by a user on the social media platform Imgur, and reported by Blazers Edge, an SB Nation website that chronicles the Trail Blazers.

The spate of tweets under Aminu's handle were specifically homophobic. One suggested that anyone living with a gay roommate should commit suicide, and another asserted that the existence of a hotline for gay people in the Atlanta area was evidence that the city had "to [sic] many gays."

"Once I was made aware of it, I wanted to make sure that no resemblance of it was up or anything like that," Aminu told ESPN.com. "I hope it didn't offend anyone or that anyone thought that those are my ideas or my thoughts or anything like that. I'm saddened by it. I know people that are [gay] and family members that are [gay]."

Aminu disavowed authorship of the tweets and knowledge of their existence until a member of the Trail Blazers communications staff brought them to his attention following the team's Game 1 loss to the Golden State Warriors in Oakland last Sunday.

The tweets were published between February 2010, when Aminu was a 19-year-old sophomore at Wake Forest, and November 2011, when he was in his second NBA season. Aminu was drafted No. 8 overall by the Los Angeles Clippers, who traded him in December 2011 to the New Orleans Hornets (now Pelicans) in a multiplayer deal for Chris Paul.

Aminu claimed that during approximately the first two years his Twitter account was active, it was hacked on more than one occasion. He said he was an infrequent user of social media and that peers would notify him that suspicious tweets had appeared on his timeline. Asked if he made a point to review his timeline after learning his account had been corrupted, Aminu said he didn't.

"I didn't pay it much mind," Aminu said. "I just changed my password and information."

Aminu said he was upset at the potential perception that he was bigoted and also the prospect that the episode could be a distraction for his team as it tries to come back from a 2-0 deficit in the Western Conference semifinals to the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors.

"I have no hate toward anybody," Aminu said. "I also don't want this to be a thing that's bigger than what's going on with the team. It's not fair to my teammates. I feel bad about the whole situation."

Aminu is completing the first season of a four-year, $30 million contract he signed with Portland last July after a season in Dallas in which he established a reputation as an agile, two-way forward with particularly strong skills on the defensive end of the court. He started all 82 games for the Trail Blazers this season, when he added a capable 3-point shot to his game.

In October 2013, the Trail Blazers became the first NBA team to endorse marriage equality when the organization issued a statement in support of Oregon's Freedom to Marry and Religious Protection ballot initiative.

Retired center Jason Collins remains the only openly gay man who ever has appeared in an NBA game, when he joined the Brooklyn Nets in February 2014. In December 2015, NBA referee Bill Kennedy openly identified himself as gay after an incident with Sacramento Kings point guard Rajon Rondo in a game in Mexico City. After being ejected from the game, Rondo yelled a series of homophobic epithets at Kennedy.