Kobe's offensive and inexcusable language during Tuesday night's game, of course, did not go unnoticed. The Internet and the Twitter were abuzz with news that Kobe's expletive-filled rant directed at referee Bennie Adams contained a gay slur, and almost everyone demanded either punishment and/or an apology. And yesterday afternoon, we got both.
On Wednesday the NBA issued a statement and a fine, Kobe issued an apology and a mea culpa, and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation said they supported the way the NBA handled the situation. Is all well that ends well?
Here's what Commisioner David Stern said:
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.
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.
And the Human Rights Campaign:
We applaud Commissioner Stern and the NBA for not only fining Bryant but for recognizing that slurs and derogatory comments have no place on the basketball court or in society at large. We hope such swift and decisive action will send a strong and universal message that this kind of hateful outburst is simply inexcusable no matter what the context.
And the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation:
The NBA has sent a clear message to sports fans everywhere that anti-gay slurs have no place in the game ... This decision will serve as an important precedent that will help ensure a safer, more inclusive environment for fans and players everywhere, and we look forward to continuing our dialogue with the NBA.
Well sounds like everything is wrapped up in a pretty little package with yellow and purple ribbon! I agree with all the statements, and I agree that as long as an error in judgement is apologized for and consequences are paid, we can all move on. But! $100,000?
I would've liked the fine to be a little more creative. Kobe could drop a figurative $100,000 bill on the ground and not want to pick it up because he's too lazy to bend over, much like my experience when I drop a nickle. He makes about $25 million a year playing for the Lakers ... it's like fining someone who makes $50,000 two hundred dollars.
Maybe 100 hours of community service or a 100-minute speech to an inner-city high school about the use of gay and racial slurs would've been better. Regardless, I guess we're all moving on.
What do you think of the statements and the fine?
Photo via WDPG share/Flickr