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 Outsports.com 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]
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