(Image Credit, GQ)During last night’s Lakers home game against the Spurs, Kobe Bryant was not happy with the fouls that were being thrown at him by the referee. After Kobe was hit with a technical foul in the third quarter, he was pissed. He seemed to have hit one of his fellow teammates very hard in the arm, and then began spewing some very nasty words. If you haven’t already heard, he threw a homophobic slur to the referee, calling him a “F***ing Fa****” which has now caused the NBA to launch an investigation on the matter. Kobe released a statement moments ago, saying this: “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.” Many gay rights groups have come out swinging, like leading gay rights organization GLAAD, whose President Jarrett Barrios said this about Kobe’s choice of words: “Discriminatory slurs have no place on or off the court. 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.” One might question Kobe’s common sense, because even though he had the words in mind, why would he say it during a televised game? And on top of that, he says it right after they throw the technical on him, which he should know that the cameras will be cued on him. Another thing is that he didn’t take back the words that he said, he just says that he said it out of frustration. He also said that his words were “not meant to offend anyone,” really? When you say that, you’re obviously trying to demean someone, whether it’s gay people or the referee. I’m in no way saying that he should just shut up even if he has those potential views, but to say any expletives while on the court is just plain stupid.
UPDATE: NBA commissioner David Stern has fine Kobe Bryant $100,000 for his remarks during last nights game. Here’s what he said: “Kobe Bryant’s comment during last night’s game was offensive and inexcusable. While I’m fully aware that basketball is an emotional game, such a distasteful term should never be tolerated. 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.”