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Brandon Spikes: 'Homophobic' tweet intended as a joke

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes says he was joking when he tweeted that he was "homophobic."

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Spikes, who is having a strong season, is a prolific user of Twitter.

He tweeted 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"

Patriots coach Bill Belichick was not scheduled to speak with reporters  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.

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press

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