‘I’m not gay.’ This is Dwight Howard’s message to all his critics after rumors about his sexuality made headlines last season.

Questions about Howard’s sexuality was put into spotlight last year after a certain Masin Elije claimed that Howard is gay. Elije actually filed a lawsuit against the Memphis Grizzlies center, saying that Howard tried to force him to sign a non-disclosure agreement after their alleged relationship came to an end.

In an interview with Kristine Leahy on Fox Sports 1’s Fair Game, Howard denied the allegation. While the rumor had a negative effect on him at first, the 33-year-old Howard said that he has learned a lot from the experience. He also said that he realized no one should be concerned about what other people think of them.

“I’m not gay,” Dwight Howard said. “It’s a lot of people who are and they have to hide and it is people who have mental issues and they have to hide. It’s people who have different problems in life and they have to hide. They have to put on the mask every day. It’s like, I don’t want to wear no mask. I just want to be.”

Masin Elije, on the other hand, stood firm on his accusation and posted a cryptic tweet in the wake of Howard’s interview.

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Here’s a part of Howard’s interview on Fair Game discussing about the allegation and how it affected his life.