Jason Alexander delivers a leg break on the Late Late Show. Photo: Late Late Show/CBS/YouTube
Actor Jason Alexander has apologised for joking during a TV talk show that he considers cricket to be a "gay" sport.
Watch the segment: click here (Alexander's cricket statements come about five minutes in.)
In a blog post, the former Seinfeld star explained on Sunday what led to his remark on CBS's Late Late Show on Friday.
Jerry Seinfeld and gang in "Seinfeld"
Read the full blog piece: click here.
He wrote that, at first, he did not grasp why some might object to the comment, but that subsequent conversations with his gay friends led him to realise his insensitivity.
Alexander's remarks came when he told CBS host Craig Ferguson that aspects of cricket made it a "gay game" compared with other sports.
The actor's 1000-word-plus "message of amends" said that the joking remark played into "hurtful assumptions and diminishments" about people.
He also wrote that, as an actor with many gay friends, he "should know better".
Alexander said previous routines about sport in Australia, in which he used similar terms, had been well received.
"Years ago, I was hosting comics in a touring show in Australia and one of the bits I did was talking about their sports versus American sports. I joked about how their rugby football made our football pale by comparison because it is a brutal, no-holds-barred sport played virtually without any pads, helmets or protection.
"And then I followed that with a bit about how, by comparison, their other big sport of cricket seemed so delicate and I used the phrase, 'a bit gay'. Well, it was all a laugh in Australia where it was seen as a joke about how little I understood cricket, which in fact is a very, very athletic sport.
"When Craig mentioned cricket I thought, 'Oh, goody – I have a comic bit about cricket I can do. Won't that be entertaining?'
"And so I did a chunk of this old routine and again referred to cricket as kind of 'gay' – talking about the all white uniforms that never seem to get soiled; the break they take for tea time with a formal tea cart rolled on to the field, etc. I also did an exaggerated demonstration of the rather unusual way they pitch the cricket ball, which is very dance-like with a rather unusual and exaggerated arm gesture.
"Again, the routine seemed to play very well and I thought it had been a good appearance."
Alexander then went on to say that some of his Twitter followers made him aware that they were both gay and offended by the jokes.
"But as we explored it, we began to realise what was implied under the humour," Alexander wrote.
"I was basing my use of the word 'gay' on the silly generalisation that real men don't do gentle, refined things and that my portrayal of the cricket pitch was pointedly effeminate, thereby suggesting that effeminate and gay were synonymous."
AP with Will Brodie