An American football player in Ohio has apologised after using the word “faggot” on Twitter.

According to the Huffington Post, Tank Carder, who plays for the Cleveland Browns, made the anti-gay slur from his personal account after getting into a row with a user.

After facing criticism for his remarks, the 23-year-old tweeted on Monday: “I don’t agree with being gay or lesbian at all, but saying faggot doesn’t make me a homophobe, it’s just a word.”

In another tweet, Carder stated: “faggot is actually a bundle of twigs….there’s your research.”

However, on Tuesday Carder issued an apologetic tweet, saying: “I was not bashing the gay community in any way…if you knew me you would know I wouldn’t do that. Again I’m sorry if you were offended.”

In a brief statement, the Cleveland Browns said: “These comments are certainly not reflective of the Cleveland Browns organisation, nor do we condone them in any fashion.

“We have spoken with Tank and have made this very clear to him.”

Meanwhile Outsports, an LGBT sports site, is calling on the NFL to suspend Carder for a game for using the slur.