As usual, the political-correctness police were waiting to pounce the moment the words “quick little monkeys” left center Steven Adams’ mouth after the Thunder beat the Warriors in Game One. That much was obvious, but so was the cultural divide that caused the stir in the first place.
Let’s not make his choice of words an issue about race when really it was about geography. Adams grew up in New Zealand and didn’t know “monkey” was offensive when describing African-Americans. Once it was explained, he quickly apologized and pointed toward disparities in dialect between his homeland and the U.S.
“It’s just different, mate,” he told reporters afterward. “Different words, different expressions, and stuff like that. ”
American English is loaded with slang and other nuances. It’s easy for foreigners, even mates who speak English, to make mistakes. When a pitcher is blowing up, it’s time for another shooter. But when Stephen Curry is blowing up, he best keep shooting. See what I mean?
Adams meant no harm.