NBA fines Kobe Bryant $100,000 for anti-gay slur caught by cameras

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant was fined $100,000 on Wednesday by the NBA for using a homophobic slur during Tuesday night’s game against the San Antonio Spurs, the Associated Press reports. Bryant became upset after being whistled for a technical foul by referee Bennie Adams; TNT cameras followed him as he walked over to the Lakers’ bench, punched his chair, took a seat, and threw a towel before calling for the referee’s attention and uttering “F—ing f—-t!”

“Kobe Bryant’s comment during last night’s game was offensive and inexcusable,” NBA Commissioner David Stern said in a statement after gay-rights organizations condemned the outburst. “While I’m fully aware that basketball is an emotional game, such a distasteful term should never be tolerated… . 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.”

Earlier Wednesday, the 13-time All-Star and five-time champion released this statement: “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.”


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  • Jango

    Why is this on EW? I’m trying to figure out what exactly is the “Entertainment” angle here…

    Will I see articles on American Idol if I go to ESPN?

    • Corinth

      Sports is entertainment too. People watch sports to be entertained. Entertainment doesn’t always have to be about TV and films.

      • Jango

        Well by that logic, ANYTHING can be entertaining, and thus could theoretically be covered by EW.

        I play the stock market. I find it entertaining. I also don’t expect to find an article about Google’s quarterly earnings on EW.

      • Manny

        Actually, any form of spectator spectacle, up on some sort of stage (TV, proscenium,movie house sports arena), and which has a captive audience that pay for it is technically “entertainment”; sports definitely fit that bill.

      • Jango

        Let’s call a spade a spade here. The only reason this is being covered on EW is because of the homophobic angle.

        If Kobe had called the ref a “Mother-F**cker” instead, I guarantee we wouldn’t be reading this on EW.

      • John

        Wrong again, Manny. Kobe is a very popular sports figure that has lots of endorsements…(Wait, why am I even explaining this? Clearly, your problem is with the fact that someone has been called out on their homophobia…)

      • Jango

        I think you meant me, not Manny right?

        I agree that this may be news, I just don’t understand why this necessarily needs to be covered by EW. Nothing more, nothing less.

      • @ Jango

        This is all about pop culture and I’m certain Kobe fits the bill as a celebrity that’s well known. I see why it’s on EW.

      • Jango

        Ok…I sumbit.

    • jen

      I’m still trying to figure that out too.
      .
      For that matter I’m still trying to figure out why he’s got a spot at Graumann’s Chinese Theater.

      • The World

        Kobe Bryant is a stupid piece of sh!t ‘ho monger/rapist with a skanky wife. He shouldn’t be calling anyone a f—-t considering that he takes it in the @ss every chance he gets. FU Kobe.

      • Mike

        Celtics fan? Don’t say you’re from Denver.

  • Jose

    who cares what he says. who doesn’t say that, or what guy doesn’t say that

    • Who craig

      I hope your kids don’t turn out gay. Actually– scratch that, god forbid you spread your seed

    • RealAngst

      Jose, I don’t say it. Your argument therefore is invalid. Please try again.

  • Manny

    A mysogynist, a rapist, and a homophobe? Wow, his mother must be so proud of him…

    • Caroline

      Manny you are an I.D.I.O.T……

      • etm

        Why is Manny an idiot?

      • Caroline

        I hope you are not a woman, “Caroline”, because it’s sad that you are defending a man for whom women are just property/trophies/sexual objects.

      • Jango

        Clearly, she didn’t realize the sarcasm in Manny’s original post.

        “Wait a second, this guy Manny actually thinks Kobe’s mother is proud of him for being a homophobe?!!”

  • jordan

    Homophobic jerk.

  • whatevs

    I’m not trying to be snarky, but what are the NBA rules regarding language? I didn’t know you could get fined for that, honestly.

    • trystan

      The NBA has stepped up its policy regarding conduct on/off the court which is why they’re issuing more technicals/suspensions. It would be a bad move if you give a guy a fine or a tech for throwing a ball in the air but not for derogatory language

  • will g alvira

    What’s this all about? It’s not Kobe’s fault that the ref is gay!! Also why fine him $ 100,000 ? Why not 100,000,000,000 ? Sheesh!! Ha ha. Taking corporate sports teams seriously is such a joke. :-)

    • Kobe Sucks

      I think all these jerks (NBA/NFL/NHL/MBA) should start paying $1,000,000. for each offense. Make it hurt to make it stop.

  • trystan

    While I disagree with the statement that sports isn’t entertainment (just ask the WWE), I do agree that it is out of character for EW to cover sports. That being said, Kobe was wrong and his half @ssed apology doesn’t cut it. I’ve been a Laker fan my whole life and will continue to be but if it were racial slurs being tossed around I don’t believe people would be so on the fence about it. The word is hateful and hurtful and so unnecessary. It doesn’t make you a man to say those things….it makes you a bully.

    • Ogle

      I take umbrage in your assertion that the WWE is entertainment (yes) and a sport (no). Umbrage!

    • Bjohnson

      “F—ing f—-t”

  • jpratm

    HA !!! good they make far too much seems fair .

  • Steve

    I like that EW only concerns itself with people like Kobe Bryant when he says a gay slur in heat of moment. Does the LGBT own EW or something? Anything Kobe Bryant does should not be on this site. I check espn for sports news.

    • RealAngst

      Hate is hate. Kids align themselves with “celebrities” as a way to identify themselves. It is important that they see it is not ok to shout derogatory slurs. They have enough to deal with at school and in their neighborhoods. Why ya gotta show your true colors in a forum of positivity?

  • jt

    He doesn’t understand that he was using that word in a demeaning way. Too many people use that word as a ‘slam’…and think it’s ok. Well, it’s not. Just as I wouldn’t call someone an f’ing “n” word. He said he didn’t mean it in ‘that’ way, but that’s a cop out answer. He sure wasn’t using it as a term of endearment.

  • Idviceroy

    &jt
    Thank you for actually responding to the heart of the article.
    Whether Kobe’s apology is heartfelt or not, that word should be considered offensive, and he deservered to be called out for it.

  • RealAngst

    Enjoy your sports then. EW, like many media outlets across this country, are taking personal responsiblity seriously. I don’t check espn.com for news. Does that mean I don’t like sports? Of course not. Kids are commiting suicide because they hear comments like this everyday. So wouldn’t it be better, since kids so heavily align with celebrities, that they see news of a celebrity taken to task for their hatred and bigotry? Kids need to know that they are protected. If they see that a sports “celebrity” is not called on their displays of homophobia, how are they supposed to feel safe? Glad that your sexuality is not called into question since you like entertainment “gossip”. Next time you question something that you feel doesn’t belong, remember how kids feel who see themselves as different. How they are made to feel that they don’t belong because some idiot sports “celebrity” displays signs of bigotry and hate. I wish you well on your pursuits. Please come back and share what espn has to say about this.

    • Ogle

      In other news, the US is teetering on the verge of bankruptcy. Please visit woodworkingtoday.com for more details on this fascinating story.

  • Debbie

    Gays are the new Jewish…everything is offensive and a big deal. Was wrong to said that? Yes. Worts to do it a big new? No. In the heat of the moment people say thing not always their feeling. At the end, no one care, 100,000 for Kobe is nothing, tomorrow win a game and nobody remember this.
    By the way, I’m not anti-Semitic, and support gays (have gay friends), I’m just saying not made a big deal from nothing

    • Dani

      Took the words out of my mouth.

    • mark

      @Debbie. what does ‘worts to do it a big new’ mean? Everything is offensive when people attack who you are personally. It’s a big deal when queer youth suicide has become an epidemic. Sorry for taking things so seriously. It may not be a big deal for you, but it is for a lot of people. Heck, I bet Kobe will be a little more cognisant of his speech, even if that is only pocket change for him. I doubt you have gay friends, because they wouldn’t stand for your ignorant attitude. You don’t support gays; your comment shows that.

      • Debbie

        You see wath happened? He was on the bench and the people “read” his lips. It’s not the first person that been mad for something curse. I’m not ignorant only I give thing the real size. And my gays friends not care, I ask a couple of them. People became over sensitivy, If he was yelling on referee’s face or aloud it diferent. NBA do what have to do, not made a big new for nothing, that made me ignorant?, maybe but probably I’m going to live more than everyone been mad for every silly tinny thing in the word. Really, the suicides card? That problem is bigger that a sporter saying offensive thing. Parents who do not care for their children, that is a epidemic, and probably a bigger part in that problem.

      • jessica

        Debbie, you should see a doctor. I think you’re having a stroke.

  • deelite

    So, if it were a white player and, “in the heat of the moment,” called him a f!@#ing ni@#er, it would be OK?

    • sam

      i don’t see the correlation, using the gay derogatory remark and using the n word are both WRONG and should never be used.

    • Katherine

      That IS the correlation @Sam. Deelite is saying that using a racial slur is just as offensive as using one based on sexual orientation. Neither should be tolerated ever.

      • deelite

        Right. Thank you Katherine! Of course they are both offensive. I’m also tired of the “in the heat of the moment” excuse. Really? In the midst of a GAME, that is supposed to be enjoyable, you are upset enough to use such language? Wow, whatever happened to the joy of the game? Money, I guess.

  • Dani

    So he got pissed off and said a bad word. Big deal. He shouldn’t be $1 let alone $100,000, just because all the gays are so freaking full of themselves.

    • JL

      So if a man gets pissed off and throws his wife into a wall, is that a big deal? Because doing that is a conscious decision, just like the one Kobe made during that game. “The Gays” are full of themselves? Where on earth do you live? Because I know it’s not on this planet. Is it so hard for you to expand your perspective to see how a role model calling someone that word could begin or add to the bullying in schools? Young kids hear their hero call someone that name in an obviously derogatory way, and then they do the same all over the playground. When you’re a public figure and a role model and bringing in such large paychecks, you have to accept that you need to be held to a higher standard. There is no excuse for what Kobe said, or for what you just said here. Sure, everyone can have their opinion, but the world is crowded enough these days without filling it with hateful words like yours.

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