Blog Entry

Kobe Bryant appeared to yell gay slur at official

Posted on: April 13, 2011 12:26 pm
Edited on: April 13, 2011 4:54 pm
Posted by Royce Young 

Update 2:50 p.m.: Gay rights advocates decried Bryant's actions in a statement.
"What a disgrace for Kobe Bryant to use such horribly offensive and distasteful language, especially when millions of people are watching," the Human Rights Campaign, a leading gay-rights group, said. 
Jarrett Barrios, president of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, said in a separate statement that slurs have no place on or off the court. "Professional sports players need to set a better example for young people who use words like this on the playground and in our schools, creating a climate of intolerance and hostility," Barrios said. "The LA Lakers have a responsibility to educate their fans about why this word is unacceptable."
On Wednesday, Bryant released his own statement, through the Lakers: “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.”

So he used the slur. He just didn't mean it. Notice how there's not an apology there. 

We've all sort of gotten a crash course reminder this season that NBA players aren't angel. That they kind of have potty mouths and say bad things. There was the whole Kevin Garnett - Charlie Villanueva thing, for example.

The latest comes from Kobe Bryant who after going to the bench following his 15th technical foul of the season, yelled out what appeared to be an offensive homophobic remark.

As you can see, Bryant yells out "Bennie!" which is directed at official Bennie Adams, and then says "F-word [gay slur]." I'm not a lip reader and I didn't hear it, but I think we can all agree that's what it appears to be. I suppose he could've said, "Philly Phanatic" but I'm thinking he didn't go that direction.

TNT announcer Steve Kerr saw it and immediately knew what was going on, remarking, "He's yelling at Bennie. You might want to take the camera off him for the children watching at home." obtained a statement made by the Lakers on the matter which said, "The Lakers can not confirm that is what Kobe said or not." The NBA said the incident was "under review." So we'll have to wait and see what that means.

I don't know how to entirely comment on this, other than to say it was a very bad thing for Kobe to yell, even in anger. I'm not entirely comfortable even writing about it because I like basketball and this isn't basketball. It's one of those things that if you step wrong around it, you slip on the banana peel and get yourself in trouble.

But here's the thing: We only know about this because the camera caught him do it. I'm sure this isn't the first time Kobe has said something like this nor do I think he's the ONLY player to have ever said something bad like this. He just had the misfortune of the camera being right on his face when he blurted it out.

We went over this with the Garnett - Villaneuva situation and pretty much all agreed: What's said on the court stays on the court. Problem with that, at least for the players, is that microphones tend to work very well, cameras catch everything and fans sit very near the action. You can't stay innocent for long nowadays.

And I'm not entirely sure it's fair to hold players like Bryant to a higher standard with things like this. Again, it was a horrible thing for him to say. He shouldn't have said it. But we've all said dumb, offensive things. Lucky for most of us, there wasn't a camera pointed in our face when we did it. Then again, we're not Kobe Bryant. It's honestly kind of a weird situation.

Reality is, the culture of professional sports has also been a misogynistic society where things like being gay is seen as a gross, bad thing. The culture just breeds language like that. That's locker room talk and that's a word that's used probably daily in there. Plus, Kobe has never been shy about dropping an f-bomb in interviews. He's always been somewhat crass and controversial. This time, he just sort of took it to a level that actually would offend some people.

I'm sure Kobe doesn't actually hate gay people. I'm sure he doesn't say that word to express hatred of gay people. I'm assuming here -- which I recognize is dangerous -- that Kobe just sort of has that word as part of his language to toss out in situations like this without really thinking about what it means.

I'm sure he'll be asked about it today and he'll either deny saying it or apologize. Maybe this is a lesson learned for all professional athletes that have cameras hovering around them everywhere they go: Watch what you say.
Category: NBA

Since: Aug 7, 2008
Posted on: April 14, 2011 11:12 am

Kobe Bryant appeared to yell gay slur at official

Being Gay is not a preference...just FYI

Since: Dec 7, 2007
Posted on: April 14, 2011 10:42 am

Kobe Bryant appeared to yell gay slur at official

The fine is in line for what he said.  In most work places this would be considered workplace Harassment.  If you still believe he did nothing wrong go to your work site and use such word and see if there are no repercussions?  A slur is a slur.  If it offends anyone you said something you should have held in check.

 Kobe is promoted as an ambassador for the sport, thus should be held to a higher standard.  In what Kobe said he must be responsible for his action.   The fine is in line for someone making 23 million this year in the league plus his $24 million in endorsements according to Forbes.  In other words the fine is just pocket change. 

For all the threads on the NBA being an adult game so he can say what he wants.

The NBA promotes their product to children in the way of family entertainment.  Even going out to the community in NBA cares program.  You cannot tell me kids do not look up to these athletes and mimic their behavior. In reality He is role models like it or not.  Really you can’t tell me that you did not grow up trying to “be like Mike” and then say they are not role models.

Since: Dec 1, 2008
Posted on: April 14, 2011 10:34 am

Kobe Bryant appeared to yell gay slur at official

NY til I Die, great post, except for one thing. I never said that what he said wasn't wrong.  If he gets fined for insulting the referee, then I agree with you that he should.  I just can't stand that this has turned political only because people are afraid of the Gay community and hurting there feelings.  The only reason anyone at all cares is because the media loves any type of controversy and by highlighting what the Gay group said about it brings that angle to the story, they will overhype it.  Yet another example of how pathetic the media keeps getting in this country. 

Since: Apr 18, 2010
Posted on: April 14, 2011 10:14 am

Kobe Bryant appeared to yell gay slur at official

Baby did a bad, bad thing. Now lets move on..

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: April 14, 2011 10:13 am

Kobe Bryant appeared to yell gay slur at official

Dropping personal income on a message board is g ay
Ok, how about this, then?

A speeding ticket in Pasadena cost me almost $500 a couple of years ago.  Relatively, this was less than the $100k fine to Bryant.  He screwed up.  He got fined.  All I'm saying is people need to stop crying for him like he's a victim of some crime.  Every workplace has its disciplinary process, and this is an extremely minor hit for him.

Since: Oct 27, 2008
Posted on: April 14, 2011 10:13 am

Kobe Bryant appeared to yell gay slur at official

To say that what Kobe did was just "in the heat of the moment" or "only offensive to .1% of the population so it's not wrong" is absolutely ridiculous.  He may not have meant to offend gay fans, but he certainly wanted to offend the ref...
Kobe is a grown man who often whines like a baby when he doesn't get the calls he believes he's entitled to.  Players like him are the reason why the NBA has gone to the extreme in an attempt to cut down on the back talk.  As far as I'm concerned the yelling at the ref alone should have resulted in being thrown out of the game.  The fine is not severe enough for a guy who makes as much money as he does.  An apology to the ref and the fans would be expected from anyone else, but Kobe is Kobe.  His arrogant attitude does not allow him to apologize for anything he does...

That being said. I do hate using sports blogs as a political soap box, but please! Gay and Lesbian people of America.  Stop comparing being gay to being black...It is not even close to being the same.  Gay people where not enslaved and brought across the ocean against their will.  You certainly don't have to let anyone know your gay unless you choose to do so.  Black people can not deny their history or determine who finds out they are black.  They must wear their skin...

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: April 14, 2011 10:05 am

Kobe Bryant appeared to yell gay slur at official

Hawkman77, when you resort to disparaging certain men of the cloth who happen to live in the state of Arkansas you know you are losing your argument. 
sock, you are 100% correct.  I knew that when I posted it, just so I could come back and excuse myself by making the excuse that I was upset when I wrote it.  See, that absolves me of anything.

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: April 14, 2011 10:03 am

Kobe Bryant appeared to yell gay slur at official

This world has two sets of rules, one for the Kobe Bryants and one for the Average Joes. The sooner you accept this
I accept it.  I'm even good with it.  I only pointed out that it's only about a $500 fine and many of us would be in a lot worse shape - because so many people were crying about the amount that I thought they were going to start passing the hat.

Since: Dec 4, 2010
Posted on: April 14, 2011 9:59 am

Kobe Bryant appeared to yell gay slur at official

Since: Oct 4, 2006
Posted on: April 14, 2011 9:52 am

Kobe Bryant appeared to yell gay slur at official

Dropping personal income on a message board is g ay.

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