Kobe Bryant Says He's Appealing $100,000 Fine for Anti-gay Slur

Kobe Bryant says he will appeal the $100,000 fine against him for the anti-gay slur he directed at a referee at Tuesday night's game:

Kobe Bryant, talking from Sacramento on the Mason & Ireland show on ESPN 710 Radio in Los Angeles, said the appeal is "standard protocol," but also took responsibility for his choice of words said "out of frustration during the heat of the game."

"The comment that I made, even though it wasn't meant in the way it was perceived to be, is nonetheless wrong, so it's important to own that," Bryant said. He added, "The concern that I have is for those that follow what I say and are inspired by how I play or look to me as a role model or whatever it is, for them not to take what is said as a message of hate or a license to degrade or embarrass or tease. That's something I don't want to see happen. It's important for me to talk about that issue because it"s OK to be who you are, and I do'n't want this issue to be a part of something or to magnify something that shouldn't be."

Audio of the interview is online here.

NBA Commissioner David Stern issued the following statement late yesterday:

“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.”

Bryant makes about $30 million a year.

NBA Commissioner Fines Kobe Bryant $100,000 for Anti-Gay Slur [tr]
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. Whenever someone calls a fat person a "Blimp", how many gay people cringe, how many gay people come to the defense of that fat person? Homosexuals are completely silent when it comes to others that are being "BULLIED AROUND". To enlighten all of you, Fat people are being made fun of each and everyday, not to mention skinny, poor, ugly, lazy, illiterate, not to mention all sorts of people that have medical conditions, my question to the homosexual community is why don't we hear anything from YOU when others are being attacked?!! Other people are getting picked on too, without running to the nearest bridge, and having to jump off of it!!! Whenever someone gets made fun of, and all they know how to do, to cope with it, is to kill themselves, perhaps we need to address the real issue, and that is, why are these people so "frail" and "weak"? JEWS and AFRICAN AMERICANS have been enslaved, made fun of, beaten, hung and burned, and even with all of the hate and unfairness that is still aimed at them today, how many do you read about having hung themselves due to that harassment? Instead of spending all of this money on stopping the bullying, why don't we spend the money on a bus load of psychologist that can help them with simple coping skills?

    Posted by: David | Apr 14, 2011 5:22:13 PM

  2. the fact that he is appealing the fine proves to me that he thinks it was alright to make his homophobic statement and is unrepentant. what he gave us was lip service. if anyone had called him a racial slur it would be all over the news and sharpton and jackson would be there alongside his pathetic ass.

    Posted by: lk | Apr 14, 2011 5:29:00 PM

  3. The LA Lakers is a homophobic and sexist organizaton. Nuff said.

    Posted by: brian | Apr 14, 2011 6:00:23 PM

  4. @David: I have no idea why you have the impression that gay people remain silent "when others are being bullied around." It really sounds like you are making unfounded assumptions, and I've found the case to be quite the opposite.
    I'd have to say that gay people are (and have been) by far over-represented in every aspect of supporting compassion for everyone. I could cite hundreds of examples, but then my post would get too long.

    Have you ever ACTUALLY been sitting in a room where you noticed the gay people were particularly indifferent to anyone who was being mistreated, or did you just make the idea up to try to start a debate?

    Posted by: GregV | Apr 14, 2011 9:41:47 PM

  5. @David,

    Most gay kids grow up in homes with straight parents. Too often, the parents try to teach these kids to pretend that they don't exist, that they would not be worth loving if they accepted their own identities, that they should go away already or else stop being themselves. Bullies at schools reinforce these message, bolstered too often by teachers and administrators who go along with it.

    How would you explain it, genius.

    I think most people in racial and ethnic minorities share those traits with family who teach them how to face the world. And fat kids prolly at least have visible proof that they are here, real, and thus no one questions that they physically exist. But Christianist-infused culture tells gay kids that they don't exist, no matter what the kids say or feel. And that if they do exist, that they are incontrovertibly worthless and are unlovable. How's a young gay kid to know better if we don't all change things?

    Did I miss something?

    Posted by: just_a_guy | Apr 14, 2011 9:45:31 PM

  6. @David, don't get me wrong: I don't necessarily oppose pyschological care for those who need it or suspect that it might help...but bringing in a busload as you put it would probably just stigmatize worse because let's be honest, they'd be Christianist pyschologist and make it worse for the kids.

    Also, I still believe parents should be expected to parent, etc. No one is trying to take that from them. Just stop the hating, ya know.

    Posted by: just_a_guy | Apr 14, 2011 9:48:41 PM

  7. Also to David: You don't sound like you know many gay people to have discussed issues thoroughly and understood what they experience.

    Every mistreated minority group experiences discrimination in ways that may be in some ways similar and in other ways different from a group experiencing discriminationfor another trait.

    One example of a difficulty experienced by many gay kids have is that they are living in a community, church group, school and family where they constantly hear hateful things about homosexuality. Some gay kids feel that they don't have a single ally in the entire world, and they can become very hopeless about their future. They are usually the only person in their family with this trait, which is the opposite of other groups you mentioned.

    I know of several gay kids in my community who have commited suicide, and in every single case, the school was hostile to gay people and the parents belonged to a religion that is hostile to gay people. It's not hard to see why the kids felt they had nowhere to turn and no future.
    Not many Jewish kids have parents who are anti-semitic and not many black kids have parents who hate black people.

    Posted by: GregV | Apr 14, 2011 9:56:40 PM

  8. "The comment that I made, even though it wasn't meant in the way it was perceived to be,...."

    What the hell does that mean?

    When he is called a "rapist", it probably wasn't mean in the way it was perceived to be.

    Posted by: LincolnLounger | Apr 15, 2011 1:33:16 AM

  9. Isn't this the guy who committed ADULTERY?

    And now he is spilling out HOMOPHOBIC words and fighting back because he's fined?

    Time to DOUBLE the fine!

    Posted by: FunMe | Apr 15, 2011 1:47:55 AM

  10. He should not only pay the fine...but MATCH it ( or well exceed the match) with a donation to GLAAD and/or other organizations that support equality for the LGBTQI community. Come on KOBE put your (multi-millions) where your fresh mouth is !!! maybe then we can start to forgive you for your vile, hateful, and destructive words.

    Posted by: anthony | Apr 15, 2011 2:11:01 AM


    Posted by: anthony | Apr 15, 2011 2:13:03 AM

  12. Gosh, Kobe. Somehow I've managed to get through all the frustrations life has thrown at me so far and not once shouted a single racial or ethnic slur at anyone.

    Who knew I was a saint?

    Posted by: Bryan | Apr 15, 2011 2:52:46 AM

  13. The fine doesn't mean a thing, unless the money goes to the L.A. Gay Community Center. The money should be used to help teen victims of homophobia. If the money goes into the NBA coffers... it becomes only a PR stunt for their league. The Lakers, on their own should match the fine to make sure this one time incident and should be remembered, that it was one of their star players that insulted the City of L.A. and their gay fans.

    Posted by: Jerry Pritikin aka The Bleacher Preacher | Apr 15, 2011 6:38:49 AM

  14. I think the $100,000 should be given directly to The Trevor Project.

    Posted by: Aaron from Nashville | Apr 15, 2011 2:44:30 PM

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