Oakland rapper and community activist Mistah F.A.B denies conversation with Stephen Curry: "We were talking sports, nothing about—nowhere near something like that.”
The Athletic writer Marcus Thompson II apologized for using insensitive language in a recent Steph Curry profile but questions remain about what he initially reported. The original version of the story, posted Tuesday, alluded to Curry “laughing with Mistah Fab about a certain tranny sex tape” at an event this fall.
The Athletic apologized for “inappropriate and offensive language” and cut the line, as Deadspin reported Thursday. (The New York Times and Associated Press style guides consider tranny to be “offensive slang.” Facebook posts using the word have been blocked.) However, neither the company nor the writer have addressed whether Curry actually was laughing about a sex tape during the SLAM photoshoot that Thompson witnessed. E-mailed requests for clarification have gone unanswered.
Mistah F.A.B., an Oakland rapper and community activist, told SI the conversation never took place. “There were hella kids around,” he said. “We were talking sports, nothing about—nowhere near something like that.” He added that the two discussed Curry’s physical health, while Curry asked about Mistah F.A.B.’s recent trip to Europe. A Warriors spokesman told Deadspin, “No such exchange ever transpired between Stephen and Mistah F.A.B.”
One of the first comments on the 2500-word piece asked why Thompson had included “an offensive slur ... and how did it get through the editorial process?” Thompson responded in the comments.
“I was completely wrong,” he wrote. “Completely wrong. It was a foolish, tasteless joke that was mistakenly posted for less than 10 minutes. I won’t even bother explaining the joke because it doesn’t matter. It was just wrong. Everybody who is angry at me has every reason to be. I am angry at myself. I apologize profusely.”
The relevant sentence now reads, “He’s laughing with Mistah Fab.” The story is topped by an editor’s note saying, “We deeply apologize for the offensive language originally published in this story. It failed to meet our editorial standards and we commit to doing better moving forward.”
Mistah F.A.B. was unaware of the ongoing discussion when reached Thursday and was not sure where the detail could have originated. "That's probably some attention stuff for the headlines,” he said, “something to get people talking." The 36-year-old concluded the conversation by saying he was going to immediately call Thompson, who he said was a friend, to figure out what was going on.
Thompson grew up in Oakland as well. One of The Athletic Bay Area’s first hires, he has covered the area for nearly two decades, including 10 years on the Golden State beat. Last year, he wrote a biography of Curry, “Golden: The Miraculous Rise of Steph Curry.”