The View host Joy Behar backtracked on a joke she made on Tuesday, June 22, in regards to Las Vegas Raiders' Carl Nassib coming out as gay.
"After they said penetration in the end zone, they lost me!" the 78-year-old initially quipped during a discussion about the athlete. However, she swiftly attempted to walk back the controversial statement.
"I just long for the days when you can just be gay in the world and it doesn't become a big deal," she explained before the next commercial break. "By the way, that inappropriate joke I made for daytime television, scratch it. Make believe I never said it."
Easier said than done: Fans quickly took to social media to express their opinions — and the responses to the comment were mixed.
"Joy Behar & that homophobic joke is peak 1988. As a gay man, hurtful s**t like that makes it so much harder for us. She just pushed some kid back in the closet because instead of simply saying 'congratulations' to him, she just had to be a Karen," one user tweeted.
"Idk that Joy Behar joke kinda made me giggle a little bit , sorry. I can see how people could think Inappropriate but," another shared.
"I'm sitting here thinking Joy Behar said something really off the wall, that little joke is what this uproar is about?" another wrote.
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"Joy Behar is why it’s taken so long for Carl Nassib and others like him to come out publicly," reporter Steve Krakauer commented.
"This didn’t have the nuance I try to strive for. I don’t think Joy Behar is literally why," he clarified in another tweet.
As OK! previously reported, the 28-year-old came out on Monday, June 21, by sharing an announcement on Instagram.
"I just wanted to take a quick moment to say that I'm gay," Nassib said in the clip. "I've been meaning to do this for a while now, but I finally feel comfortable enough to get it off my chest."
"I'm a pretty private person, so I hope you guys know that I'm really not doing this for attention. I just think that representation and visibility are so important," Nassib explained. "I actually hope that one day, videos like this and the whole coming out process are just not necessary."
"But until then, you know, I'm going to do my best and do my part to cultivate a culture that's accepting, that's compassionate, and I'm gonna start by donating $100,000 to the Trevor Project," he continued.
Nassib is not the first gay football player in the NFL — but his coming out made him the first active player who is openly gay to play in the regular season, NPR noted. While Michael Sam came out in 2014 before the 2014 NFL draft, he only played the preseason, while other players came out once their professional career had come to an end.