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Kobe Bryant Statement on 'Fag' Slur: 'I Didn't Mean to Offend Anyone'


The L.A. Lakers spoke with GLAAD this morning and released a statement from Kobe Bryant regarding the anti-gay slur captured on camera during his game last night.

Said Bryant:

“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.”

Bryant's slur is under review by the NBA.

Watch: Kobe Bryant Calls Ref a 'F**king Fag' After Technical Foul [tr]

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  1. What a liar. Obvuiously he meant to offend the person he said it to. The guy shouldn't have the job he has in the first place. I feel better when I picture the "big one" coming in the middle of a Lakers game, and the entire Staples Center collapses into the earth. Would also solve LA's gang problems.

    Posted by: Brian Stroup | Apr 13, 2011 3:05:07 PM

  2. Well that's alright then, right? No hard feelings, right? We understand, don't we? We always understand. I am a bit tired of understanding.

    It is good he is sorry, but still... why to use those words in the first place.

    Posted by: Matt26 | Apr 13, 2011 3:06:17 PM

  3. I am sick and tired of hearing this excuse from the jocks and others who still throw fag and its variations around like it's nothing. The fact that they say it out of frustration and anger leads me to believe they use the terms much more frequently in private - things that slip off the tongue in frustration are typically well ingrained. I don't care that it doesn't represent your view towards the LGBT community - it still is insulting - and I don't care that you didn't mean to offend anyone. In fact I don't believe you: you meant to offend the ref. at least. And you knew that it would offend everyone else who was within earshot...

    Posted by: Klifford | Apr 13, 2011 3:07:40 PM

  4. The "apology" is a bad as the original slur. "My words should not be taken literally." Oh, so it's OK because he wasn't literally saying the ref was a f**ing f**? The words may not have been "meant to offend anyone" but using those words as an angry putdown was offensive.

    Posted by: Rob | Apr 13, 2011 3:10:11 PM

  5. What ever happened to, "I'm sorry"?

    Posted by: Russell | Apr 13, 2011 3:11:41 PM

  6. Oh right - next time someone calls me a faggot I'll just assume they didn't mean it.

    Yeah right

    Posted by: Fred | Apr 13, 2011 3:15:25 PM

  7. Does this mean we can say racial slurs out of frustration and then claim that "it doesn't reflect our feelings toward that community?"

    Posted by: Sky | Apr 13, 2011 3:16:56 PM

  8. So, if in the heat of the moment, I call someone a "f**ing n**ger," I'm to be forgiven, right Kobe? I mean come'on! The guy I was mad at was white, so what I said should not be taken literally.

    When I use the N word, that expression does NOT reflect my feelings towards the African American community and I do NOT mean to offend anyone.

    Right, Kobe?

    Posted by: Tribute | Apr 13, 2011 3:19:01 PM

  9. I want to ask him - If you didn't mean to offend anybody, then why did you say it jerkoff?
    Another example of ignorant, uneducated thugs being paid big money and forgetting that they have a responsibility to their public.

    Posted by: pdxblueyes | Apr 13, 2011 3:41:44 PM

  10. He should have said that the slur was #NotMeantToBeAFactualStatement, Jon Kyl style

    Posted by: davey | Apr 13, 2011 3:50:40 PM

  11. Hey, thanks; no problem, N*****...

    Posted by: Kile Ozier | Apr 13, 2011 3:50:57 PM

  12. First off, his original comment was offensive and should be punished under whatever rules the NBA has for dealing with the public use of hate speech. Period. Also, I agree with people noting that the actually words, "I'm sorry" appear to be missing from the non-apology, which is frankly terrible.

    But, the greater issue, I think in all of these race-baiting articles, (because that's what I think this is), is how we collectively react to incredible lack of good judgment on Bryant's part.

    It took all of 14 minutes of commenting time for someone to make the incredibly ridiculous "then why can't I use the N-word" or "what If he were to have used the N-word" argument. Before I actually get to the greater point, there's no escaping the fact that Kobe is black and so I can't hear in these quick, visceral reactions anything but "he said the f-word so i want to say the n-word" imagining that one word's linguistic violence will seek the vengeance of another.

    I think we can qualify both terms as admittedly context/speaker dependent hate-speech without conflating the socio-historical violence of both words. As much as the LGBT movement models itself on the civil rights struggles of people of color who, having come before us, have shown us how to go about acquiring civil rights. But, this isn't a narrative of progress. Even if they can marry, their struggles are far from over (read any Tim Wise book at random) and it's far from obvious that these rights have been obtained in any real, practical sense (housing, education, legal, etc.) Our communities (even ignoring the large overlap that somehow makes it ok to use the N-word in vengeance as if gay men of color did not exist) ultimately have common goals, and stupid petty things like this cannot reduce us to the basest possible instincts.

    Posted by: Arty | Apr 13, 2011 3:51:49 PM

  13. oh, hey; no offense meant, Arty.

    Posted by: Kile Ozier | Apr 13, 2011 3:54:13 PM

  14. I'm mad that he apologized. He shouldn't have. People need to develop thicker skins, seriously. Acting like your damn day was ruined over that piddly BS. "Oh my God, I can't believe he said that!!!" Please.

    Posted by: Avenger | Apr 13, 2011 3:54:22 PM

  15. While I was typing this my 3rd paragraph was proven right by Kile!!

    Posted by: Arty | Apr 13, 2011 3:55:40 PM

  16. Arty, welcome to Towleroad! Luckily Queerty is down because this the kind if article they LIVE for.

    Posted by: Rowan | Apr 13, 2011 3:57:41 PM

  17. A non-apology if I ever heard one.

    Posted by: Your Mom | Apr 13, 2011 4:00:08 PM

  18. Sounds like the John Kyle "My official statement on the floor of congress wasn't intended to be factual" excuse that Stephen Colbert so magnificently eviscerated.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Apr 13, 2011 4:01:14 PM

  19. Another thing Arty.

    Tim Tebow has not only done adverbs for a group that has LOUDLY systematically worked to break gays but he's favorite person is a rabid anti-gay ex movie star who LOUDLY goes on about how he hates gays.

    And guess how many people on this blog were rushing to give him the benefit of the doubt? Some even went as far as to say that he's just a jock, he knew no better cur him some slack. Tebow scores above a 4 at college.

    Others say this still doesn't make him anti-gay etc.

    And this guy in a stupid heat of the moment says 'fag' like every straight Tom, Dick and Harry and apparently it's now okay to call him n*gga.

    So because ONE black guy says that, you are now going to use the n word? Even though I'm black and gay?


    Posted by: Rowan | Apr 13, 2011 4:02:19 PM

  20. @ARTY, none of what you said negates the fact that there is a direct comparison between the use of anti-gay slurs and anti-gay slurs. Though it may piss you off, there is no reason to take offense to the fact that people make the obvious observations. There is a huge difference between using this incident to justify the use of racial slurs and pointing out the similarities between racial and homophobic slurs and being annoyed and frustrated that an educated, world traveled, respected African-American man wouldn't understand the issue better.

    I guarantee you that had Joe Solomonese been caught on video using the n-word you would be the first to jump up and make comparisons to anti-gay slurs.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Apr 13, 2011 4:10:16 PM

  21. Should have been,
    "anti-gay slurs and racist slurs".

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Apr 13, 2011 4:11:31 PM

  22. Kobe Bryant is a disgusting rapist

    Posted by: SteceC | Apr 13, 2011 4:16:25 PM

  23. Here is what Jim Harbaugh said when he was accused of using the "f-word"; Kobe might have used this as an example:

    “I would like to state unequivocally the alleged anti-gay remark that some have attributed to me did not come from my mouth and any such assertion is hurtful to me, members of my family and the gay community. Those who know me know I never use slurs under any circumstances; the bias reflected by spiteful slurs is simply not in my heart.”

    Posted by: Rick | Apr 13, 2011 4:20:59 PM

  24. Paging Jon Kyl... Paging Jon Kyl...

    Posted by: Timothy | Apr 13, 2011 4:38:08 PM

  25. It's probably the best he can do.

    Posted by: Jack M | Apr 13, 2011 4:41:13 PM

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