Los Angeles Lakers standout, Kobe Bryant, was recently fined $100,000 by the NBA for dropping an anti-gay slur directed at a referee during Monday night’s heated game against the San Antonio Spurs.
Bryant was visibly upset after referee Bennie Adams tagged the all-star with a technical foul, and cameras caught the 6’6” guard punching a chair, then his teammate, throwing towels around and, finally, calling the ref a “faggot.” The NBA referred to Kobe’s choice word as “inexcusable,” according to ABC News.
“While I’m fully aware that basketball is an emotional game, such a distasteful term should never be tolerated,” said NBA Commissioner David Stern in a statement.
Yesterday, Bryant addressed the controversy on ESPN radio and said he’s appealing the fine, attributing his foul remarks to being overly caught up in the intensity of the game.
“There’s a lot of things that are being said that should not be said,” Bryant told ESPN Radio after apologizing for his language and insisting it was not intended to come across as homophobic.
Bryant’s controversy comes at a time when the NBA is trying to appear more “gay friendly.” The league is producing a public-service announcement with the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) that will be broadcast during the NBA finals. Coincidentally, Grant Hill of the Phoenix Suns taped his portion the same day as Bryant’s outburst.
Watch Kobe’s angry eruption below:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUszeTwfrGg