Spikes says "homophobic" tweet was a joke

Associated Press
New England Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes (55) tackles Denver Broncos running back Willis McGahee (23) in the first quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — 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.