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Chicago Bulls Center Joakim Noah Fined $50,000 for Anti-Gay Slur


Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah has been fined $50,000 after being caught on camera uttering the words "f**k you faggot" to a fan seated behind him at Sunday night's Miami Heat game.

The only difference between Noah's actions and Kobe Bryant's last month is that Kobe's slur was directed toward a referee and not a fan.

ESPN reports: "NBA spokesperson Tim Frank said that the two situations were different. 'Kobe's fine included discipline for verbal abuse of a game offical,' he said."

ESPN's 1st & 10 debated the potential fine earlier today.


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  1. FIRST!

    Posted by: mike | May 23, 2011 5:38:25 PM

  2. 1. Good.

    2. It would be nice to see these fines go to GLBTQ (preferably youth oriented) organizations in the team's city or state.

    3. I can't wait until a spectator gets caught doing the same to a team member or fellow spectator. They seem to be a cause of a lot of disturbance during these games.

    Posted by: jakeinlove | May 23, 2011 5:44:49 PM

  3. Disappointing that I'm not the only one who thought the fine should have been bigger, yet it was cut in half. I don't understand how the fact that it was directed toward a fan should mean the fine should be less -- the fans pay the salaries, and can't defend themselves on court like a ref could (ie by issuing a technical foul, etc.). This, to me, sends a message to the fans that the NBA doesn't think they're important.

    Posted by: Ryan | May 23, 2011 5:55:41 PM

  4. pocket change for this guy

    well at least the NBA took some sort of action

    his whole "no disrespect" comment/apology was just asinine

    Posted by: neverstops | May 23, 2011 6:22:55 PM

  5. Considering that fines for breaking the law are often smaller than this, I for one think it's remarkable and positive that the NBA has chosen to impose non-negligible fines when they don't have to. Really, I think it's ridiculous to poo-poo the decision by such a machismo-filled organization as the NBA to actually punish behavior that, despite its odious nature, is actually still widely accepted in many areas of society.

    Posted by: Tyler | May 23, 2011 6:23:08 PM

  6. YAY!!!!

    Posted by: kodiak | May 23, 2011 6:23:12 PM

  7. guess this means the next violation will only be $25,000 and if there are enough future violations they'll get the fines down to about $10.

    Referee or not, this fine should have been HIGHER. This player attacked a fan. And, this player was forewarned by the action taken against Kobe Bryant.

    Posted by: Tim NC | May 23, 2011 6:27:36 PM

  8. So, it's worse to slur a referee than it is to slur someone who pays your salary... got it.

    Posted by: yunin | May 23, 2011 6:29:33 PM

  9. There's really nothing to debate.

    Change F*t to n*r and it'll clear it up for all those who don't get it.

    Posted by: dmsdms | May 23, 2011 6:35:47 PM

  10. Where does the money go?

    Posted by: Deen | May 23, 2011 6:43:13 PM

  11. Is it is me or does that creep look like "Wanda" from "In Living Color"?

    Posted by: Astro Boy | May 23, 2011 6:52:39 PM

  12. What did the fan call him? Does anyone even know?

    I'm going to go out on a limb here, but I think at some point everyone has said something mean or ugly about someone else. Words can hurt. Calling an overweight person "fat" hurts just as bad as calling a black person the N-word.

    It would be nice if we just all learned to elevate our level of discourse.

    Posted by: Rin | May 23, 2011 7:25:35 PM

  13. I wonder if the two gentlemen on the left would have been so ready to say it was the passion of the moment, and to be expected, if it were not the "F" word, but another word... and everyone knows what THAT word is. Funny how the one person really ready to go to the mat for some decent punishment is the one person that fit the stereotypical image of the one who'd be for the status quo. Props to that guy.

    Posted by: Reggie | May 23, 2011 7:37:49 PM

  14. When are they gonna start firing sports stars for this kind of hate speech?

    Fines will do nothing except get an empty apology.

    Posted by: Steve | May 23, 2011 7:48:28 PM

  15. Reggie, I'm going to have to say no. I think they would be calling for his suspension.

    Posted by: The Iron Orchard | May 23, 2011 8:50:07 PM

  16. I'm pretty sure that $50K as a percentage of this nobody's salary is fairly significant, as Kobe's needed to be outstandingly large because of how much he makes. I have a relative who is fairly wealthy and she--like a lot of NBA stars and celebrities, actually--parks in handicap spots regularly and just pays the fine whenever she gets them. It means nothing to her. While I know this wasn't an official factor, I do know that run-of-the-mill NBA players make MUCH, MUCH less than the big stars, of whom Kobe may be the biggest. I don't mind the sliding scale if it means people like Kobe are actually punished. Doesn't mean people who make much less than Kobe need to be fined as high to have the same impact. And, yes, just as how there are greater consequences for cussing out your boss vs. the barista at Starbucks, it's legitimate, if seemingly unfair, to rate the grievance as worse if it is directed to the official authority figure on the court.

    Posted by: breckroy | May 23, 2011 9:15:11 PM

  17. This somewhat reminds me of how corporations get away with hundreds of millions in illicit practices, get 'caught', are sued civilly by state AGs, and end up with a fine that's pennies on the dollar amount they basically stole. Chump change. Crime often does pay.

    Posted by: ratbastard | May 23, 2011 11:30:22 PM

  18. Andy -

    it's absolutely amazing to me that you keep printing the homophobic slur despite the racist equivalent being verboten

    truly don't get it

    i am glad however, that you've started using the term "marriage equality", which is much more to the point, and less emotionally loaded, than "same-sex marriage"

    language matters

    Posted by: r | May 24, 2011 4:07:05 AM

  19. All Pro-sports teams need to do a better job of policing their fans. I believe in free speech, but with limits. Fans who use obscene gestures or make racist or anti-gay remarks against other fans or players should be given a one time warning. If they continue, they should be thrown out of the stadium. As for players fines, I advocate that players be made to do community service and those fines should go to various local organizations, like gay community centers, or local boys and girls clubs. All pro and amateur teams should have good sportsmanship training prior to the season. Also, there should be a drink limit at the games to prevent problems that occur from extensive drinking. Cheers, not jeers always!

    Posted by: Jerry Pritikin aka The Bleacher Preacher | May 24, 2011 6:13:06 AM

  20. At the risk of being labeled the language police, I agree with R. At the very least, 'The F word' should replace f****t. Maybe we need a gay version of Bamboozled.

    Posted by: Go Galt. Please. | May 24, 2011 7:59:56 AM

  21. Dear Language Police: Ahhhh, shaddap!

    Posted by: wimsy | May 24, 2011 11:22:45 AM

  22. @R: I think we're all adults and have heard the word faggot enough that reading it isn't really traumatizing. Not to mention, there is a parallel with the N word: some black people use that word quite a bit.

    Andy isn't black, but he is gay. And some gay people say faggot all the time.

    Posted by: Paul R | May 24, 2011 3:52:41 PM

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