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Patriots' Brandon Spikes makes controversial 'joke' on Twitter

Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes causes stir by making controversial 'joke' on Twitter.

Al Bello - Getty Images

Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes made a controversial 'joke' from his official Twitter account last night that caused a stir among his 283,000-plus followers.

In the tweet, Spikes compared homophobia to arachnophobia:

Spikes later defended the 'joke' by Tweeting:

Spikes had most recently taken to Twitter to bash the replacement refs following the Patriots 31-30 Week 3 loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday Night Football.

Thus far, there has been no response from the Patriots or the NFL but Spikes faces punishment if he's deemed to have violated the league's personal conduct policy.

Through five games, the third-year pro is tied for second on the Patriots with 26 tackles. He's also tied for the team lead with three forced fumbles.

For more on the Patriots, check out SB Nation Boston or the Patriots blog, Pats Pulpit.