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: Sep 15, 2007
Posted on: April 14, 2011 1:11 am

Kobe Bryant appeared to yell gay slur at official

Oh please, heat of the moment.

I hate it when someone says the 'F' word (that doesnt rhyme with duck) and before you know it the gay rights group comes out to complaint.

Even gay guys between themselves call each other the 'F' word. If Kobe hadnt been filmed, would anyone have noticed? Didnt think so.

This is coming from a Heat fan btw.

Since: Apr 13, 2011
Posted on: April 13, 2011 11:28 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Jun 12, 2009
Posted on: April 13, 2011 11:01 pm

Kobe Bryant appeared to yell gay slur at official

Whether you are a fan of Kobe or not, this is a sad day in America.  An athlete fined for calling a heterosexual referee a homosexual name.  I am sure the ref wasn't even offended.  Should have been nothing more than an admonishment.  Ridiculous!  Stand by for what is next!  I guess they should have fined Garnett earlier in the season for calling Villanueva a cancer.  When will it stop?

Since: Oct 4, 2006
Posted on: April 13, 2011 10:56 pm

Kobe Bryant appeared to yell gay slur at official

Soapboxes are that way -------------------->

Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: April 13, 2011 10:31 pm

Kobe Bryant appeared to yell gay slur at official

I see that K has been fined $100,000 for his "slur." THIS FINE is what's truly outrageous. It's completely, utterly, totally, entirely, unequivocally OUTRAGEOUS thatanyone would be fined EVEN ONE CENT for any "slur." And rest assured, it wasn't just that he disrespected the referee. It was what he said that got him this outrageous fine. David Stern made this clear in his statement. The heavy fine was because of the content of his speech. The NBA has to be the most politically correct sports league on the planet. From it's silly "NBA Cares" to its "Go Green" campaign and now to this, it's perfectly clear that the thought-police and the fully processed are at the helm of the NBA. I'm done. I'll no longer watch any NBA game ever again. Men, refuse any longer to allow the thought-police and their propagandists to process you. Refuse. Resist. 

I've never seen more stupid people in one thread in my entire life.  And I've read a lot of posts in a lot of threads but some of you guys take the cake for being the biggest morons I've ever seen or heard of in my life.    This is 2011 and you idiots think it's ok to say things like that in public? You really believe public figures that are on national tv can talk like that and get away with it?   Why are you so shocked and outraged???  It's AUTOMATIC that a player will get into trouble if it's proven he says what Kobe did......    and it's not like Kobe got punished.  With endorsements the guy makes about 40 million dollars per year.  In the NBA alone he makes 20 million dollars per season....  100 grand is literally like a 1 dollar fine for most of us..... it's nothing.    

Since: Dec 20, 2006
Posted on: April 13, 2011 10:13 pm

Kobe Bryant appeared to yell gay slur at official

100k for saying something out of frustration when it wasnt even meant for anybodys ears.  The camera just caught him at the wrong time.  Pretty gay if you asked me.

Since: Nov 14, 2008
Posted on: April 13, 2011 10:02 pm

Kobe Bryant appeared to yell gay slur at official

Do you think he'd have the cajones to say this if Rick Fox was still on the team?

Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: April 13, 2011 9:23 pm

Kobe Bryant appeared to yell gay slur at official

 Typical Kobe, no class rat bastard.

Since: Sep 7, 2006
Posted on: April 13, 2011 9:13 pm

Kobe Bryant appeared to yell gay slur at official

Since: Mar 14, 2011
Posted on: April 13, 2011 9:08 pm

Kobe Bryant appeared to yell gay slur at official

i agree with you.  i just don't think it'll help players watch what they say.  that word cost 100k.  now the ron artest brawl cost him a lengthy suspension and fine. that doesn't stop players from having altercations now. how many has the NBA had these past few weeks.  yes the scuffles were not as intense as the one at the palace years ago but still could escalate depending on how players react but in the case of the brawl at the palace it was the fans who help escalate the situation. not even fans comply as seen in the lakers vs mavs game.  should kobe have said it should he gotten a 100k fine hell no. 

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or