Kobe Bryant Fined $100K for Anti-Gay Slur, Plans to Meet Gay Groups
Kobe Bryant's homophobic slur didn't only land him in hot water, but also cost him $100,000. Condemning the Los Angeles Lakers guard for the outburst, the NBA announced on Wednesday, April 13 they have decided to fine him for calling a referee a "f***ing f****t" during a game against the San Antonio Spurs.
"Kobe Bryant's comment during last night's game was offensive and inexcusable," said NBA Commissioner David Stern in a statement. "While I'm fully aware that basketball is an emotional game, such a distasteful term should never be tolerated. ... Kobe and everyone associated with the NBA know that insensitive or derogatory comments are not acceptable and have no place in our game or society."
The sum of money will be donated to "charitable endeavors", Los Angeles Times reported. Terms of the NBA labor agreement stated that all the fines paid by players are split into two. Half will go to the NBA Players Association which will give it to charities of its choice, while the other half held by the NBA will be given to charities approved by the Players Assn.
The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) has applauded the NBA for taking such action in response to Kobe's anti-gay slur on Tuesday night, April 12. GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios stated, "The NBA has sent a clear message to sports fans everywhere that anti-gay slurs have no place in the game."
"When such a prolific cultural institution like the NBA speaks out against hateful words, we are reminded that fair-minded Americans are siding with equality for all. This decision will serve as an important precedent that will help ensure a safer, more inclusive environment for fans and players everywhere, and we look forward to continuing our dialog with the NBA."
Kobe was caught on camera using a derogatory gay term on referee Beanie Adams after the latter penalized him for a technical foul. In his statement regarding the matter, he said, "What I said last night should not be taken literally. My actions were out of frustration during the heat of the game, period. The words expressed do NOT reflect my feelings towards the gay and lesbian communities and were NOT meant to offend anyone."
In an interview with ESPN 710's Mason & Ireland on Wednesday, the 32-year-old athlete expressed his hopes to meet with gay groups GLAAD and HRC (Human Rights Campaign). "I plan on talking to them," he explained. "Out of this, I believe it's our responsibility as athletes and those in the spotlight to bring awareness of these issues."
"It's coming from a negative light, but it's our responsibility to make it into a positive and raise awareness as much as we can and say it's not OK to insult or discriminate. It's not the right thing to do. I will say something to them and talk about doing things to help prohibit hate crimes and violence. It's important to do that."
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