The Gay Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), the nation's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy and anti-defamation organization, today responded to a statement issued by Los Angeles Lakers player Kobe Bryant:
"This statement is a start, but the NBA must now take action," said GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios. "No matter the intent, slurs like this fuel intolerance. The NBA has a chance to show leadership by taking disciplinary measures and sending a message that words like this have no place in sports. All sports leagues have a responsibility to create a safe environment for fans, employees and players."
GLAAD is reaching out to the NBA. Recently, GLAAD worked with the New York Yankees and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) to address issues of homophobia in sports. After working with GLAAD, the New York Yankees adopted a new policy that strictly prohibits anti-gay slurs in Yankee Stadium.
Earlier today, Kobe Bryant issued the following 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."