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NBA Commissioner Fines Kobe Bryant $100,000 for Anti-Gay Slur


NBA Commissioner David Stern issued the following statement this afternoon:

“Kobe Bryant’s comment during last night’s game was offensive and inexcusable. While I’m fully aware that basketball is an emotional game, such a distasteful term should never be tolerated. Accordingly, I have fined Kobe $100,000. 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.”

Kobe Bryant Statement on 'Fag' Slur: 'I Didn't Mean to Offend Anyone' [tr]
Watch: Kobe Bryant Calls Ref a 'F**king Fag' After Technical Foul [tr]

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  1. Yeah, hear this; "not acceptable".

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Apr 13, 2011 6:06:44 PM

  2. Wow... that is not chump change, no matter how rich you are. Wht do they do with that money? Does it go to a charity for gays or just back into the pot for the NBA?

    Posted by: Hollywood, CA | Apr 13, 2011 6:12:13 PM

  3. NBA fines are almost always given to charity. It'd be nice if the NBA donates this one to something like The Trevor Project.

    Posted by: JJ | Apr 13, 2011 6:23:58 PM

  4. Cool!!!

    Posted by: peterparker | Apr 13, 2011 6:27:24 PM

  5. Umm...yeah it's chump change to kobe...this is the guy who bought his wife a 4 million dollar apology diamond...Kobe's gonna go looking in his couch for that....

    Posted by: Pedro | Apr 13, 2011 6:33:35 PM

  6. I wanted to say, this is probably the best place to do so, this morning I totally was stupid in not realizing the severity of what Kobe did, and I apologize to everyone I offended with my callousness. Obviously his actions are reprehensible and offensive in every single way, and his non-apology apology was unacceptable. I don't ever want to trivialize such hateful speech.

    Posted by: Francis | Apr 13, 2011 7:21:18 PM

  7. There are limits on fines. They couldn't very well fine him $1 million.

    Anyway, this would not have happened five years ago. It's progress.

    Posted by: Paul R | Apr 13, 2011 7:22:03 PM

  8. @Francis, I hear you and I think it takes a big person to say what you said here. I hope, for real, that Kobe is, or will become, as big a person and give an apology that is worthy of a man of his accomplishments.

    Posted by: Jon Mitchell | Apr 13, 2011 7:39:16 PM

  9. The fine is appreciated, surely, but one wonders how (or if) the punishment would have been different if another derogatory comment were used. For instance, something that NBA players wouldn't dare call each other.

    You know, like the n-word.

    Because I can't help but feel that Kobe's being fined more for being caught saying it on television than anything else.

    Posted by: TommyOC | Apr 13, 2011 7:55:19 PM

  10. I never liked or trusted Kobe ever since the entire "rape" incident. Stories came to light then that he was a talented yet spoiled kid who thought the world owed him everything, and he could do whatever he pleased - including raping someone and getting away with it.

    I think the same applied here - there was no reason to use such a derogatory term. Sure sports can be emotional at times and very competitive, but many of the greats (Michael Jordan comes to mind) refrained from such behavior during games.

    Kobe is just a low class thug with lots of money who knows no better - don't expect much from him.

    Posted by: CARIBTONY | Apr 13, 2011 8:05:12 PM

  11. It IS progress, you buncha' pinheads. Do you not realize that 10 years ago no one would even have taken notice? Things are moving in the right direction--which is why nit-wits like Bachmann, the FRC, the NOM and the rest of that barnyard are becoming increasingly shrill.

    Try being grateful instead of perpetual critics for a change, you bunch of malcontents.

    Posted by: Danny | Apr 13, 2011 9:46:41 PM

  12. Francis, good on you my friend. We all live in the same world, and it's very understandable to express the feelings you were having on the subject. And great job by the NBA for imposing this fine, its exactly what they should have done and is an outstanding statement. The NBA has some great leadership.

    Posted by: Ian | Apr 13, 2011 9:46:44 PM

  13. @ Caribtony

    Kobe Bryant is a thug? He lived an upper middle class to wealthy lifestyle growing up. He lived in Europe a lot of his childhood as his dad was both an NBA player and played in the Italian league. He went to one of the best prep school in the U.S. He's never been in trouble with the law. The "rape" charge was a joke. Just some college aged bimbo trying to cash in a wealthy celebrity.

    Posted by: Brian in Texas | Apr 13, 2011 9:47:26 PM

  14. Homophobia would not exist in this world if it were not for people of European descent. Racism, sexism, and any other type of prejudice exist because of the Europeans.

    Posted by: Mel Smith | Apr 13, 2011 10:00:05 PM

  15. As a black gay man, I don't think the word 'fagg@t' should come out of heterosexual people mouths. Just like men should not call women 'b!tches' either. Out of respect, if you ain't black, the word 'n!gg@r' should not come out of your mouth. If you are not Jewish, anti Jewish language should not come from your mouth, if you are not hispanic, anti hispanic language should not come from your mouth, etc...

    Posted by: Mel Smith | Apr 13, 2011 10:06:35 PM

  16. The Lakers should follow this up by having him volunteer some time to work with homeless gay youth and to cut a PSA about homophobia, bullying or slurs. Whether we'd see his words and actions as sincere or not, kids will listen to him.

    Posted by: Patric | Apr 13, 2011 10:26:12 PM

  17. Mel Smith, just shut the f*ck up with that BS, you ass. That's the most ridiculous thing I've heard on here, and that's tough to do!

    Homophobia, racism, and sexism obviously exist in many places of the world where Europeans barely even stepped foot on. Sub-Saharan Africa is one of the most homophobic places on earth for instance (there are many of them). Let's see you try to tie that back to Europeans.

    Posted by: Ian | Apr 13, 2011 11:13:23 PM

  18. Kobe Bryant should be force to define out loud his definition of faggot for all those listening and himself to hear it in the open. He should be asked what he thinks that word means and why he would utter it at someone only when that someone is not doing what he thinks they should do. In other words; not behaving in a way HE thinks they should behave. He's a bigot and it's obvious. No heat of the moment excuse justifies bigotry any more than it does "in your face" racism.

    Posted by: ewe | Apr 13, 2011 11:51:30 PM

  19. Ah Mel...every message board needs a troll. It's your lot in life.

    Posted by: Ivanka | Apr 13, 2011 11:52:49 PM

  20. Ian, I have a degree in history. As a graduate student, I completed reseach projects on homophobia throughout world history.

    Now before you call me an "ass," I suggest you stop being an ass yourself and do a little internet research.

    I teach global studies. The Europeans who lived in the past did spread homophobia throughout the world.

    Posted by: Mel Smith | Apr 13, 2011 11:53:24 PM

  21. @Ian:

    "Sub-Saharan Africa is one of the most homophobic places on earth for instance (there are many of them). Let's see you try to tie that back to Europeans."

    Did you never learn about colonialism? White missionaries and colonizers spread their poisonous version of Christianity (there are "good," nontraditional versions) throughout Africa and that gave birth to virulent homophobia there as well as in other regions of the world where European colonization occurred.

    "As Rudi C Bleys documented in his book, The Geography of Perversion, the existence and, sometimes toleration, of same-sex acts was used by the colonising European nations to justify what they saw as their "civilising" mission. To them, homosexuality among indigenous peoples was proof of their "barbarity" and confirmation of western theories of racial superiority."

    Posted by: redball | Apr 14, 2011 12:08:15 AM

  22. I'm sorry if the truth hurts some of you. Do some research over the internet. European missionaries dehumanized homosexuality on the continent of Africa. That's one of the major reasons homophobia exist on that continent.

    People have brains today, so homophobia is unacceptable from everyone, regardless of color. However, do some research over the internet.

    Prior to Europeans visiting Africa, Africans respected gay people.

    I'm far from being a "troll." I support our community everyday.

    Posted by: Mel Smith | Apr 14, 2011 12:09:50 AM

  23. I have No beef with anyone who respects me. I'm talking about European Christian missionaries who lived in the past, not anyone today.

    Posted by: Mel Smith | Apr 14, 2011 12:16:48 AM

  24. Seems appropriate to me. It's a lot of money, and even for Kobe, I'm sure $100k isn't anything to sneeze at. It's enough that I have to imagine he won't do it again, no matter how vile of a person he is.

    Posted by: Ryan | Apr 14, 2011 1:02:32 AM

  25. One is not being discontent because one expects to be treated with dignity. It may be that ten years ago no one would be troubling themselves to apologies for homophobic slurs and hate speech, but that is no reason to relax now. Complacency, especially while still in the midst of changing people attitudes and behavior is not the time to relax. The fact is that faggot, and comparable words, are still acceptable, too acceptable for straights to use. And as long as the word is acceptable, then as far as I am concerned all bets are off for other words, like ni**er and cu*t when ni**ers and cu*ts use derogatory words to describe gay people. Sometimes, the word is VERY applicable, howbeit undesirable. I don't accept Kobe's apology, nor anyone elses. In this current climate in professional sports, just about every week one of these overpaid idiots is apologizing for their behavior and anything short of a small fine and a disingenuous apology just doesn't make the grade.

    Posted by: Ricco | Apr 14, 2011 2:16:19 AM

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