Packers WR apologizes for anti-Asian remark

iCrackStreamsAugust 8, 2021

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Green Bay Packers receiver Devin Funchess apologized early Sunday morning after he used an anti-Asian slur and gesture during a news conference Saturday night.

“I want to apologize for the disparaging remark I used tonight,” Funchess tweeted. “It was not ok. I have grown to develop deep personal and business relationships in the Asian community! I meant no harm, and those that know me, know I have love and respect for all cultures and people. I will learn from this and will continue to grow as a person. I’m forever sorry!”

After the Packers’ practice Saturday night at Lambeau Field, Funchess walked into the media auditorium and said he was happy to see reporters in person after previously talking only via Zoom.

“I can talk to people now,” he said. “I like smiles.”

Vaccinated reporters are still required to wear masks in the media auditorium, and Funchess used an anti-Asian slur and pointed to his eyes when he told reporters that he can still see them smiling even when they’re masked.

Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst addressed Funchess’ remark later Sunday, saying the slur is “very unacceptable and certainly doesn’t live up to the standards and values of the Green Bay Packers.”

3dRob Demovsky

Funchess will remain with the Packers in training camp, and Gutekunst said the organization does not plan to release Funchess “at the moment.”

“We’ve addressed it with Devin; he knows it’s unacceptable,” Gutekunst said. “I do think he’s sincerely remorseful and will hopefully learn from this. He will, and hopefully our team can learn from this and we’ll move forward. I do want to say that is something that is not condoned and it doesn’t live up to what we believe here with the Green Bay Packers.

“Through the conversations that we’ve had — and there’s going to be more — I think his apology was sincere. I think he made a mistake and it certainly can’t happen again.”

Funchess signed with the Packers in 2020 but took the COVID-19 opt-out and did not play last season. He hasn’t played in an NFL game in nearly two years since he broke a collarbone in Week 1 of the 2019 season while playing for the Indianapolis Colts.

Funchess had his best practice of training camp Saturday night, when he caught a pair of passes during team 11-on-11 periods — including a 25-yard out from Jordan Love. He’s locked in a tight competition in a deep receiver group.

The second-round pick of the Carolina Panthers in 2015 has 164 career receptions for 2,265 yards and 21 touchdowns. His best season came in 2017, with 63 catches for 840 yards and eight touchdowns.

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