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]


  1. Hollywood, CA says

    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?

  2. Pedro says

    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….

  3. Francis says

    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.

  4. Jon Mitchell says

    @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.

  5. TommyOC says

    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.

  6. CARIBTONY says

    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.

  7. Danny says

    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.

  8. Ian says

    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.

  9. Brian in Texas says

    @ 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.

  10. Mel Smith says

    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.

  11. Mel Smith says

    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…

  12. Patric says

    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.

  13. Ian says

    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.

  14. ewe says

    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.

  15. Mel Smith says

    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.

  16. redball says


    “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.”

  17. Mel Smith says

    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.

  18. says

    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.

  19. Ricco says

    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.

  20. says

    seems you can take the boy out of the hood.. but you cant take the hood out of the boy ….

    Least he be reminded that he is a famous adulterer and publicly humiliated his wife with the scandal.

  21. FunMe says

    Wow, within a few days this gets taken care of. As someone up said, this is definitely PROGRESS.

    I was upset that Kobe said his intention was not to hurt anyone, I hope he has learned his lesson that every time he says something like that it does hurt and insult someone the same way if someone said the N word.

    I hope this incident helps America realize that using the F word is NEVER acceptable, either in front of the camera or in your own mind.

  22. Rowan says

    @ mark Boston, STAR etc

    He was bought up in a middle class home. Went to a very prestigious prep school.

    So what IS a thug? In the US of A? A black man? A black man who lives in the ghetto? A violent black man who is in a gang? An uneducated black man? A mean black man?

    I guess that the person needs to be black to be at least black but I wonder if there are any other prerequisites?

    @Mel smith

    I understood what you were trying to say it but worded it to sweepingly and lazy.

    People are not that intelligent on these blogs. Furthermore, it’s a very white gay blog and again they are quite thick-uncultured, so unless you are talking about white american history, people will think you may as well be talking an ancient language from medieval France.

    But the sad thing is that the Arabs of today and the Blacks are today don’t even know there history. Islam now, is not Islam whilst persopolis the first greatest city in the world-that accepted Jews-was being built. Burnt down by Alexander the great Mr barbarian.

    Same with Africa. You know the Christians have gotten Nigerians to try and burn remains of the first humans because it does not go in line with creationism? The British history museum had to step in.

    It’s like they always go to the extreme. Dude, you knew christianinity for like what? It’s ridiculous.

  23. Go Galt. Please. says

    This is truly progress. But more important than the fine announced is the outcome of the appeal. Will the NBA accept Kobe’s basic argument, that the NBA overreacted in fining him $100k? That using such language isn’t really that big a deal?
    It would seem to me that a person with Kobe’s past should have a better grasp of the English language, and would avoid cheap common slurs.

    @Rowan I’ve never noticed a racial bias here, except in comments such as yours. If you used the phrase ‘racial american history’ rather than ‘white american history’, your criticism would be self-applicable. You are a person, too.

  24. Derrick from Philly says

    “@Rowan I’ve never noticed a racial bias here, except in comments such as yours”

    Is that a Palin or Bachman observation? Either one.

  25. Rowan says

    @ Go Galt. Please.

    You didn’t just say this after more then 4 commenters before me just said the n word or called this man a thug when he grew up wealthy…


    Wow. I guess I AM the one race baiting. I should just keep quite and shut my mouth like a good ‘boy’.

  26. Chitown Kev says


    Feeling sorry for Vanessa Bryant? After Kobe paid her of with that $4 MILLION diamond ring?

    Guess we know what that “public humiliation” was worth to her.

  27. Rick says

    @Mel Smith I don’t think your premise is entirely accurate (i.e. that Europeans “taught” Africans to be homophobes), but let’s say, for the sake of argument that it were entirely the case. Colonialism did not last that long and it has been over for a half-century. If you are correct, then why have Africans not thrown off those European ideas and re-claimed their heritage of non-homophobia? Are you suggesting that they have so little ability to make their own decisions or guide their own culture that they are incapable of doing anything other than imitating Europeans? And if THAT were the case, then why are they not following the lead of Europeans now in eradicating homophobia, instead trying to insist on its continuation, even as modernization ensues in other areas?

    Likewise, are you suggesting that some African-Americans are so incapable of forming their own opinions that they cannot cast off the legacy of slavery in the form of Fundamentalist “Christianity” that was foisted on them by slaveowners? I mean slavery has been gone for 150 years and segregation, even, ended 50 years ago……the point being that the time has long passed since black folks had to adhere to this religion and the homophobia that it spawns…..but so many of them still do….

    You see, I am afraid that what you want to do is absolve all African-Americans, whether as a group or as individuals, from any responsibility for their ongoing homophobia by, (surprise, surprise) blaming it all on the white man.

    In so doing, it seems to me that you are insulting the intelligence of your own race.

    I do not and would never make excuses for the homophobia of anyone who is white, not in 2011–and I think any educated person who still is a homophobe should be held fully accountable for it. And I will apply those same standards to black people, including Kobe. I guess I cannot understand why you or anyone else would not do the same..

  28. says

    I leave the discussion of what words people choose to discuss the Public Persona that is Kobe Bryant(tm) to the highly trained professionals Kobe and the NBA have hired to groom and cultivate that persona. For all I know, they’re trolling blogs and obscuring issues by filling the comments with nasty racial epithets.
    I raised the issue with you that disassociating yourself from this society by portraying the generic term ‘people’ in terms of racially-insensitive inferior others indicates a certain sense of racial separation and superiority on your part. That’s what I meant by bias. A deep-seated assumption that detracts from your ability to be objective.

  29. redball says

    Rick, it is way more complicated than how you would have it.

    You said: “the point being that the time has long passed since black folks had to adhere to this religion and the homophobia that it spawns…..but so many of them still do”

    There is a lot of scholarly research out there about how the black church has historically been a safe haven, a refuge from the evils and uncertainties of life, starting back in an overtly racist, slave-owning country, all the way down to the continued hardships, economic oppression, and, yes, racism still faced by the black community today. The strength that a large segment of the US black population derive from their church is not something that can be foisted off at the drop of the time. In fact, scholars tend to view it as an ADAPTATION that promoted and still promotes survival of the black community. If anyone here watched any of that “Race in America” series on CNN, you would have seen some very interesting riffs on this theme: a smart kid who needed help making college affordable actually had doors opened for him when his reverend helped him make contacts at universities, another family struggling with unemployment and on the verge of bankruptcy got financial planning advice through networks in their church.

    Please be careful of oversimplifying extremely nuanced, complex dynamics of class, race, oppression, religiosity.

    I’m sure that similar things could be said about the African situation…especially considering that in poverty, sometimes religion is the one thing you can count on (so religion may not be going anywhere soon in much of Africa). In many African societies, the indigenous faith systems were so decimated that many people no longer recognize them as valid. Europeans MADE A POINT of denigrating local belief systems as barbaric, heathenist, etc. These belief systems quickly fell out of favor. Thus, many Africans today use the imported faith systems forced upon them by Europeans.

    Have you heard of “erasure”? The eradication of local cultures and customs by brute force, tyranny of outside oppressors (usually WHITE in world history, if we are talking about cross-continental oppression).

    You said: “Colonialism did not last that long.” Please consult a book–or at least Wikipedia. Colonialism lasted for 450 years.

  30. says

    What a loser Kobe continues to be. He really needs to control his anger on the basketball court, his continued complaining and arguing with the refs on every call made against him or his team is beginning to be turn off as a fan. For every call made against Kobe, he nor his team in his mind ever commits a foul. And he knew for consistently bursting out in anger, so yes he should pay the 100,000 penalty. There should be an appeal process for his nasty words.

Leave A Reply