Kobe Bryant has been fined $100,000 dollars for his anti-gay slur at referee Bennie Adams during the Lakers final home game of the season against San Antonio.
David Stern gave the following statement regarding the incident and subsequent fine:
“While I’m fully aware that basketball is an emotional game, such a distasteful term should never be tolerated,” Stern said in a statement. “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.”
Several Gay and Lesbeian organization applauded Stern’s move GLAAD President, Jarrett Barrios issued a call to action for all professional athletes:
It was wrong, there’s no question that he shouldn’t be addressing anyone in that way. But, if some good can come of this situation than everyone can walk away having learned something, that’s what’s most important. Clearly Kobe needed to make better use of his vocabulary. What happened to using Italian or Serbian like you mentioned on The Mo’Nique Show?
Maybe the next time for example, Donald Sterling has a racial incident the league will step in and take the same swift stance.
Also interesting to note, the New York Times put together a small list of incidents that have happened in the last 2 years in other sports with use of the same or similiar epithet:
Two years ago, the Kansas City Chiefs imposed a two-game suspension on running back Larry Johnson for using the same epithet that Bryant did Tuesday night. Johnson directed his at reporters and then also used it on his Twitter account. The Chiefs later reduced the suspension to one game.
The Chicago White Sox fined Manager Ozzie Guillen an undisclosed amount in 2006 after he used an antigay remark during a verbal tirade directed at Jay Mariotti, then a sports columnist for The Chicago Sun-Times.
Last year, Brent Bowers, then the manager of the minor league Edmonton Capitals, resigned after repeatedly using an antigay epithet to describe an openly gay umpire. Two years ago, in another incident that created consternation for the N.B.A., Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, and Kenyon Martin of the Denver Nuggets engaged in a prolonged verbal dispute during a 2009 playoff series