New England Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes says he was joking when he tweeted that he was "homophobic."
Spikes, who is having a strong season, is a prolific user of Twitter.
He tweeted on Wednesday night that "I'm homophobic just like I'm arachnophobic. I have nothing against homosexuals or spiders, but I'd still scream if I found one in my bathtub !"
After receiving several negative comments on Twitter, he tweeted, "PEOPLE !!!! It's a joke ... seriously a JOKE !!! Chill out"
Coach Bill Belichick was not scheduled to speak with reporters on Thursday. The team usually does not announce when it disciplines a player.
Before the NFL officials' lockout ended, Spikes posted a tweet that compared replacement officials to Foot Locker employees.