Ayton defends himself amidst social media backlash

Deandre Ayton.

Projected number one pick in the 2018 National Basketball Association (NBA) Draft DeAndre Ayton defended himself yesterday, after being chastised on social media by Bahamians for his interview with sports entertainment network ESPN.

With mounting anticipation of draft day and Ayton’s draft status, the interview, which took place in January, is now making rounds on social media.

“It’s upsetting to see how my words are being used in the media today,” Ayton wrote.

“I love The Bahamas. That’s my heart! I have never said one disparaging thing about the place that gave and continues to give me and my family nothing but love and support.”

According to the former University of Arizona standout’s Twitter page, he felt his statements were misconstrued and he’s no longer addressing the topic.

“I won’t give any more energy or attention to people who want to use my name for click-bait! As always #242ToDaWorld,” the Twitter post read.

Based on the website Heavy.com, Ayton allegedly told ESPN interviewers: “From when I was a baby to 12 years old, yes. But as soon as I left The Bahamas, that stuff was over. It was just straight business. I’m on a mission. That’s how it’s always been…Most people say they’re in poverty because they’ve got a little Android [phone].

“Those people [in The Bahamas] don’t have phones. No house phones. People live in wood houses, straw houses. No electricity and barely any water, even though we’re surrounded by water. My mom and dad, they really did a good job because they did their best to not show us that part of the world.”

Those comments sparked outrage in the local community.

“The thing is, The Bahamas is one of the richest countries economically. But that isn’t my conch to beat…let me finish paint my straw wall,” said a local Twitter user.

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This article was written by Riel Major, Eyewitness News intern.