The NBA All-Star sent the crude remark Saturday in a direct message response to Brian Ferrelli’s tweet that he’d “better come back a lot stronger and quicker to make up for this past season.”
Ferrelli — known on Twitter as Knicks superfan “B ForReal!” — didn’t keep their covert exchange to himself.
He retweeted for public consumption a screen-save of Stoudemire’s direct message, including its anti-gay slur: “F--- you! I don’t have to do any thing f--.”
Once Ferrelli’s tweet of Stoudemire’s derogatory comment became a trend topic on Twitter and blew up on the sports blog Deadspin.com, the player made a quick mea culpa.
“I apologize for what I said earlier. I just got off a plane and had time to think about it. Sorry bro!! No Excuses. Won’t happen again,” Stoudemire wrote in another direct message, which Ferrelli posted for all to see on Twitter.
Stoudemire was in Milan on Sunday and did not respond to requests for comment. His agent, Happy Walters, declined to comment and referred the Daily News to Stoudemire’s Twitter apology.
A source close to Stoudemire said the b-baller was kicking himself for the slipup.
“He made a big mistake, and he wishes he could take the whole thing back,” the source said.
Ferrelli said he didn’t want to exacerbate the Twitter dustup by commenting further.
“I don’t want to make this situation any bigger than it already is. He apologized and I accepted it,” Ferrelli told The News in a tweet.
It was not immediately clear if the NBA would take action against Stoudemire.
In 2011, NBA Commissioner David Stern fined Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant $100,000 for using the same homophobic word against a referee during a game.
Bryant apologized but said the comment should not have been “taken literally.” Stern called his remark “offensive and inexcusable.”
At Sunday’s 43rd Annual Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Pride March in Manhattan, participants expressed disappointment in Stoudemire.
“It’s known that the F-word is very offensive,” said former “Star Trek” actor George Takei. “It’s the same as using the N-word or K-word to describe someone Jewish. He should be censured severely.”
“I’m glad he realizes what he did,” Takei said. “He made a public fool of himself.”