Did Kobe Bryant Exclaim ‘F–king F–g’ Last Night?
Last night in a game against the San Antonio Spurs, Kobe Bryant received his 15th technical of the season (1 technical shy of receiving an automatic 1-game suspension).
After receiving the technical, Kobe was pulled out of the game, punched his chair on the bench, threw a towel, yelled out to Bennie (the referee), then looks to say “fucking fag.”
The TNT cameras broadcast it live, and the commentator, Steve Kerr, wisely suggested the cameras stop focusing on Kobe.,
Did Kobe say what it looks like? What do you think?
[Update:] TMZ reports that a rep for the Lakers says, “The Lakers can not confirm that is what Kobe said or not.”
[Update:] Per ESPN, “The video from Tuesday’s game is under review by the NBA,” league spokesman Tim Frank said to ESPNLosAngeles.com via email.
[Update:] Kobe Bryant has issued the following statement/apology: “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.”
Sorry, Kobe, but that’s not good enough. Your frustrations nor your declared innocent intents do not detract from the damage of your actions. This type of behavior is unacceptable no matter the situation or the stimulus that spurs it. I hope he plans to do more than issue this meaningless apology (which really just deflects any sort of blame from himself).
Straight rugby international superstar Ben Cohen agrees: “It is disappointing to see this. As a professional athlete and rugby World Cup champion, I understand the heat and passion of competition at the highest levels. But we must all remember that strong bodies must be balanced with strong characters, and work toward that end. Our positions as role models demand it.”
[Update:] HRC and GLAAD have issued statements on the subject.
HRC issued the following statement:
“What a disgrace for Kobe Bryant to use such horribly offensive and distasteful language, especially when millions of people are watching. Hopefully Mr. Bryant will recognize that as a person with such fame and influence, the use of such language not only offends millions of LGBT people around the world, but also perpetuates a culture of discrimination and hate that all of us, most notably Mr. Bryant, should be working to eradicate. Bryant and the Lakers have a responsibility to speak up on this issue immediately. America is watching.”
“Discriminatory slurs have no place on or off the court,” said GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios. “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. The LA Lakers have a responsibility to educate their fans about why this word is unacceptable.”
GLAAD has reached out to the L.A. Lakers and will provide updates on GLAADBlog.org as they become available.
[Update:] The NBA fined Kobe Bryant $100,000.
Thanks to my friend Joe for bringing this to my attention.