Two days after being fined for using a racial epithet on Twitter, Los Angeles Clippers forward Matt Barnes said Friday he will continue using the term, claiming it has become commonplace, ESPNLosAngeles.com reported.
"The word I used is a word that's used on the court, used in the locker room, used amongst my friends and family; it's a regular word to me," Barnes said. "I think my mistake was using it in a social manner, which I regret and I apologize for it. But you guys have to get used to it."
Barnes was ejected from Wednesday's game when he pushed Oklahoma City forward Serge Ibaka after Ibaka and Clippers forward Blake Griffin got tangled up.
Barnes later Tweeted, "I love my teammates like family, but I'm DONE standing up for these n---as! All this s--- does is cost me money. ..."
He was fined $25,000 on Thursday by the NBA for failing to leave the court in a timely manner and using inappropriate language on Twitter.
On Friday, Barnes said, "If you look at the particular way I said it, kids are seeing that through music, through their favorite artists, and probably some of their favorite movies and even on TV now. The word is not necessarily a racial slur. Everyone is trying to paint it like I made some kind of hate crime or something. It's a word that I guarantee you will be used out here on the court today. It's a word that I've already heard in the locker room. It's not as big a deal as people are trying to make it.
"My mistake was making it in a social manner in the platform I used it on.
"I think the way it's said makes people cringe. I think if you put an -er at the end that makes people cringe, but if there's an -a at the end that's like people saying, 'bro.' That's just how we address people now. That's how we address our friends. That's how we talk. That's how my wife talks. That's how my family talks. People talk that way now. I think if you put the -er on it it's offensive and if you have an -a on it it's more slang."