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As gay rights group calls him ‘a disgrace’, Kobe apologizes, sort of

Apr 13, 2011, 12:12 PM EDT


Kobe Bryant would like you to know that his recent slur concerning gays was not meant to be taken as a factual statement. Hmm, where have I heard that before?

As gay rights groups lined up against him for his gay slur aimed at a ref on Tuesday, Bryant today issued an apology of sorts, saying that he “didn’t mean to offend anyone” when he called a ref a “f*****g fa****” during the Lakers’ win over the Spurs. Bryant today:

“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.”

UPDATE: The NBA fined Bryant $100,000 for the slur.

But it’s doubtful that his statement will be enough for gay rights organizations such as GLAAD and the Human Rights Campaign, both of which issued statements earlier today condemning Bryant. And is calling for his suspension. The Human Rights Campaign said:

“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 [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender] 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.”

And from GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios:

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.

Just when the backlash over his endorsement deal with Turkish Airlines was starting to die down, now this.

While I don’t think that Bryant’s choice of language reveals a hidden anti-gay agenda, I do agree with GLAAD that spewing that invective, knowing he was surrounded by cameras, was pretty stupid and only adds to a bigger problem. But mostly I condemn Kobe for lack of originality. Fu***** fa****? Really? That’s amateur hour. With that kind of creaky, outmoded vocabulary, he wouldn’t last five minutes in a good “Your momma’s so fat” competition.

Gay rights group slams Kobe — ‘What a disgrace’ [TMZ]
Kobe Bryant headed for suspension? Immediate outpouring of reaction to anti-gay slur [Outsports]
Kobe Bryant used a gay slur [Pro Basketball Talk]
Kobe: ‘I didn’t mean to offend anyone’ [TMZ]

  1. 1historian - Apr 13, 2011 at 3:12 PM

    For the crime of opposing a same-sex marriage bill I have been called a homophobe, a gay-basher, closed-minded, a liar, a religious fanatic, and a bigot. (That’s all I can think of now). Of course this is all coming from a group of people who have nothing but love in their hearts and are of course morally superior to me right out of the gate so they can say anything they please.

    I call them faggots and they have a cow.

    Kobe – Dude – I STILL hate the Lakers but it’s a free country and you just say what you please. Please don’t apologize.

  2. florida727 - Apr 13, 2011 at 3:30 PM

    I agree with ‘1historian’. Every time some amoral lifestyle supporter hears the word ‘faggot’, it gives them an additional 15-minutes-of-fame type opportunity to be heard. Screw ‘em. BTW, Rick is right. Kobe – come up with better trash than that. Jordan or Bird would spit you out in 10 seconds or less.

  3. henryd3rd - Apr 13, 2011 at 3:43 PM

    Like my daddy used to say, “when you step in dog crap no matter what you do afterwards it is still going to stink. It is always better to watch where you step in the first place”. Kobe would have been better off just offer a heart felt apology; instead he still stirring up that dog crap!

    • Rick Chandler - Apr 13, 2011 at 6:42 PM

      Literally, “Sh*t My Father Says”

  4. wfon1 - Apr 13, 2011 at 4:03 PM

    I find that using “son of a bi**h!” feels alot better when frustrated, Kobe.
    But then the Womens Association would be condeming me.
    Damn! Cant say anything?!

  5. dragopooch - Apr 13, 2011 at 4:14 PM

    maybe Kobe was asking him for a date and was stating his intentions. that should make them gladd or at least happy

  6. rawstriper - Apr 13, 2011 at 4:57 PM

    Who cares what Kobe said, and who cares what a bunch of liberal/gay people think about what he said? Last time I checked this was still a free country, and the First Amendment was still in effect, so Kobe and the rest of us can say whatever the hell we want. I still hear blacks saying “white-boy” or “white-girl” or “honkey” or “cracker” on TV all the time under the guise of comedy, so why can’t I say “black-boy” or “******”? And as for you homos, maybe it’s time that you faced the reality that in spite of Hollyweird’s efforts to shove your nasty, immoral lifestyle down our throats, the majority of Americans still think you’re 3rd-class citizens and we use the word “******” in a derogatory fashion because we mean it in a derogatory fashion. Make sense? Good.

    • blueinnm - Apr 13, 2011 at 5:58 PM

      Hey Einstein, look at the thumbs-up/thumbs-down count below your rant. I assume you can count. Make sense? Good.

      • ocgunslinger - Apr 13, 2011 at 7:12 PM

        Suggest you follow your own advice. “f*****g fa****”

  7. gggpress - Apr 13, 2011 at 5:06 PM

    Yeah, Kobe can say what he wants and then he can take the crap for it. That wasn’t an apology it was a “No, you don’t understand.” Yeah sure. I guess it is OK to call people the dreaded N-word, as long as we are frustrated or some other reason we are not in control of what we say. Betcha he doesn’t do it again. And so therefore, lesson learned. Too bad for him, he had to learn it with national news exposure. But maybe that is why it is ‘lesson learned.’

  8. rawstriper - Apr 13, 2011 at 5:14 PM

    By the way, the two words deleted in my post above are ****** and ******. Until “white-boy”, “ho'” and “homo-phobic” are removed from the English language I believe I’ll just keep on using the words I feel like using as well.

  9. delius1967 - Apr 13, 2011 at 5:45 PM

    Wow. I hate being in the the singularly distasteful position of having to defend Kobe Bryant, who I dislike tremendously, but come on. He shouted something in the heat of the moment; it could have been many different two words coming out of his mouth. If Kobe called him a m***f*** I would not take that as meaning that he actually thinks the ref has actually had intimate relations with his female parental unit.

    They are just words. They only have power over you if you let them.

  10. philipmiller111 - Apr 13, 2011 at 6:54 PM

    What happen to free speech? He didn’t yell FIRE in a theater.

    • fouldwimmerlaik - Apr 14, 2011 at 3:10 PM

      There is a difference between freedom speech and consequences of speech. Kobe is free to say whatever he wants. There may be (and in this case, there are) consequences to what Kobe says, but he is free to say it. It is up to him to decide whether it is worth continuing to say what he wants to regardless of the consequences. People who cry “What about free speech” have an incorrect perception of what “freedom of speech” means. It means, in simple terms, the government cannot limit your ability to express your opinions. It does NOT mean that there will not be other consequences to whatever dumbass thing you want to screech out for the world to hear.

      And, by the way, it IS “freedom of speech”, not “free speech.” For instance, Kobe’s speech cost him $100,000, which is not free. But, he can continue to say things if he wants!

      Having said all that, I think this whole drama is all idiotic. So what? He said “f*gg*t”. Big deal.

      Kobe is my hero.

  11. philipmiller111 - Apr 13, 2011 at 6:59 PM

    Can you imagine if Kobe called the Ref a homosapien? They would hang Kobe from the rafters along with the championship banners.

    • Bryce - Apr 13, 2011 at 9:47 PM


  12. therednecktruth - Apr 13, 2011 at 7:27 PM

    Why don’t we just call them **** *******, after that’s what gays do.

  13. Bryce - Apr 13, 2011 at 9:47 PM

    I’m sick and tired of the gay community being a “bloody nose looking for a fist”. Props to Kobe for being one of the most dominate players of the game. He is a competitor and a winner.

  14. cur68 - Apr 13, 2011 at 10:48 PM

    I’m just a Canadian, so please excuse me for butting in to your national discourse. I think he’s exercising his free speech rights just like all the people lining up to tell him “you shouldn’t say that” or “yeah, you da man, Kobe” are exercising theirs. Is this a FOS issue even? I thought it was a matter of offensive behavior while on a national stage, not to mention bringing an unwanted light on the NBA. Its more that his bosses are mad at him for saying something so controversial and causing a ruckus, isn’t it? Please excuse me for being unsure, but I find that being dead certain you are right leaves you no room for learning.

  15. fouldwimmerlaik - Apr 14, 2011 at 1:12 PM

    I am a f****ing f*gg** and I was not upset. Kobe can be my guy anytime he wants!

  16. donkeyball - Apr 15, 2011 at 7:48 PM

    GLAAD can feel whatever they want. Stern will handle the negative publicity and Kobe will give his half-hearted “apology” (and $100k).

    Let’s play some ball!