By now, everyone has covered NBA superstar Kobe Bryant’s blow up after being called for a technical foul last season. His use of a gay slur outraged the gay community and there are also some that believe this slur was used in the heat of the moment or that it is common for players to use this type of language on the court. Despite what is right and what is wrong everyone is entitled to their opinion and holds their own moral values as to what this saying means to them.
NBA commissioner David Stern issued a disciplinary ruling after Kobe called referee Bennie Adams a “fucking faggot.”
Adams called a technical foul on Kobe during a Los Angeles’ win over the Spurs. Kobe responded by slamming his fist into the chair and throwing his towel across the court.
It was Kobe being Kobe.
Then with the TNT camera directly on him, Kobe mouthed the words “Beenie” then after a few seconds “fucking faggot.”
The NBA fined Kobe Bryant $100,000. Even though there was no audio proof of Kobe actually saying the slur.
In response, a statement issued through the Lakers, Kobe had this to say, ”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.”
The Penalty Flag writers have different opinions about the slur and the 100,00 fine which is being appealed by Bryant.
Writer Chris Teti said “I understand the NBA has a code of ethics for players on and off the court, but to fine Kobe $100,000 for a slur after this happens every night on the court??? I don’t recall the NAACP making a big stink about players using the “N” word on the court, although I seem to see that every night!! Maybe the NBA needs to fine every player for the use of profanity on the court! For that matter let’s fine every player (that in the heat of the moment) swears or uses derogatory comments in every sport! I just watched Tiger use the F-word at the Masters!! Isn’t the “Granddaddy of them all” supposed to be a gentleman’s sport?”
Writer Brad Vipperman said “Donte Stallworth kills a dude while driving drunk and high and gets house arrest, but Kobe mouths a bad word on TV and gets fined $100,000…pathetic.”
With that being said, Kobe may believe that he did not intend on offending anyone, but that is exactly what he did and he knows it.
According to the L.A. Times, Cyd Zeigler, co-founder of Outsports.com a locally based gay sports website, said he has heard that many fans that are irate over Kobe’s slur. “Los Angeles is one of the gayest cities in America, and the message I’m getting from many is that they are no longer Kobe Bryant fans,” Zeigler said. “You can’t use that word and get away with it anymore, because the gay community is just tired of hearing it.”
I’m not going to sit here and pretend that the slur has never come out of my mouth, because that would be a lie, but Kobe needs to realize that he is held to a higher standard.
Kobe Bryant is an entertainer, an athlete, a paid millionaire, one of the faces of the NBA, and a role model. The NBA is not a hobby, it is his job and if I said “fucking faggot” at work I’d be in trouble as well.
Some think that by him mouthing the word “faggot” it shows his real feelings about the gay community, but when I have said it, I don’t mean to offend the gay community…it’s just a saying?
While the gay community wants to hold everyone to a higher standard the word has taken on multiple meanings over the years and just like most of us have adapted to same sex marriage maybe the gay community should adapt.
The Urban Dictionary’s definition even says so. “In these times not really used if somebody is really a homosexual mostly used instead of calling somebody stupid or a loser.”
The word can be said without assuming that Kobe Bryant thinks every gay person is a fucking faggot, but at the same time it was wrong for him to say.
Kobe deserves his $100,000 fine by the NBA but let’s not rush to judgement on what he feels about the gay community.