NBA Fines Kobe Bryant $100,000 for Gay Slur
Saying that derogatory terms have no place in the NBA, commissioner David Stern slapped Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant a $100,000 fine on Wednesday for firing off a gay slur against referee Bennie Adams after being assessed a technical foul during a match against the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday.
“Kobe Bryant’s comment during last night’s game was offensive and inexcusable,” Stern said in handing out the swift punishment. “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’s outburst, which occurred in the middle of the third quarter after the Lakers star was assessed a technical foul, was caught on camera. In the footage of the match, Bryant, after heading to the bench following the technical, can be seen calling the referee before yelling the homophobic curse.
Bryant has since apologized for the gay slur, saying that what he said should not be taken “literally” as the words came out of frustration. “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,” Bryant said.
Watch the video of Bryant’s outburst here. The gay slur comes at the 36-second mark.