Kobe Bryant may have just been angry over receiving his 15th technical foul of the season, but his reaction was inappropriate by any means. He went to the bench, slammed his fist against a chair, and got the attention of referee Bennie Adams. At that point, he called him a “f***ing f***ot,” here’s the video via Jose3030:
Alright, so the word Kobe used has become so common that it has obscured the meaning and origin behind it. That doesn’t make it acceptable. Just like someone using the n-word or another racial slur, using that word is not OK. Think about what you are as a person. How can you be described? Is there anything about you that people can use to throw a slur your way? Of course, and it probably would make you upset if someone used it the way Kobe did.
Just because gays are in the minority doesn’t mean the word is not offensive and acceptable. It isn’t, and the harsh reaction towards Kobe should help remind people to start losing that word from their vocabulary. Kobe’s explanation certainly doesn’t help his case either:
“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.”
Kobe is supposed to be a role model, and as such, using improper language, even if it’s on the court, is not OK. He needs to help send that message to everyone else rather than deny his actions were wrong.
UPDATE I: Kobe was fined $100K by the NBA. David Stern explained: “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.”
UPDATE II: Kobe went on 710 ESPN Radio LA and owned the remark. “The comment that I made, even though it wasn’t meant in the way it was perceived to be, is nonetheless wrong, so it’s important to own that. The concern that I have is for those that follow what I say and are inspired by how I play or look to me as a role model or whatever it is, for them not to take what is said as a message of hate or a license to degrade or embarrass or tease. That’s something I don’t want to see happen. It’s important for me to talk about that issue because it’s OK to be who you are, and I don’t want this issue to be a part of something or to magnify something that shouldn’t be.”Google+