The NBA has fined Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant $100,000 for uttering a gay slur that just happened to get caught on TNT’s cameras. Apparently, he yelled “Bennie!” toward referee Bernie Adams, before adding a homophobic remark that the NBA clearly didn’t appreciate.
Announcer Steve Kerr heard it and quickly tried to move on to something else. “You might wanna take the cameras off of him right now, for the children watching from home,” Kerr said.
Bryant did the right thing and issued a statement today.
“What I said last night should not be taken literally,” he said. “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.”
Regardless, commissioner David Stern laid the smack down.
“While I’m fully aware that basketball is an emotional game, such a distasteful term should never be tolerated,” he said. “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.”
Some are outraged that he would get such a heavy fine, but the NBA already has some image issues and they need to police that kind of thing.