Kobe Bryant now has to pay for an “anti-gay” slur he made during the third quarter of a Tuesday night game against the San Antonio Spurs.
The NBA has fined Kobe $1000,000 for what it’s calling “inexcusable” homophobic language against a referee. Bryant told ESPN he’s going to appeal the fine, saying his comment was made in frustration during the heat of a game. NBA Comissioner David Stern says it doesn’t matter when the comment was made, “While I’m fully aware that basketball is an emotional game, such a distasteful term should never be tolerated.”
His apology isn’t enough. “The comment that I made, even though it was not meant as what it’s perceived to be, is nonetheless wrong,” Bryant said on ESPN radio.
The controversy comes at a time when the NBA was already planning a public service announcement campaign with the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) in order to present the league as being more “gay friendly.”
The announcement is set to air during the NBA Finals and part of the GLSEN’s “Think Before You Speak” campaign about anti-gay language.
“When it comes to homophobia, nothing surprises me,” said ESPN’s L.Z. Granderson, an openly gay sports writer.
“He finally apologized and that means he’s doing some listening,” Granderson said.
Sports blogger John Krolik said, “Kobe does have freedom of speech but freedom of speech is not freedom from consequences.”
Bryant seems to realize that now.
“There’s a lot of things that are being said that should not said,” Bryant said on ESPN Radio.
What do you think – does Kobe deserve to be fined?
Posted Thursday, April 14th, 2011 at 8:08am
Filed under Kobe Bryant