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‘No homo’ and why it is offensive

The slang phrase “no homo” received significant attention this weekend after Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert used it during a postgame news conference on Saturday following Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals. He was fined $75,000 by the NBA for using the phrase and cursing at the media. I imagine the bulk of the fine was for the “no homo” drop rather than the cursing. Some people do not understand the harsh fine or why Hibbert was fined in the first place. They also do not understand why “no homo” is offensive. I figured I would explain.

The impenetrable authority that is the Urban Dictionary says no homo is a “phrase used after one inadvertently says something that sounds gay.” No homo is “said to show that you aren’t gay after saying something that sounded gay.”

An example would be a football coach evaluating a player and saying that the player has a wide butt — which is generally a positive trait for players — and saying “no homo” afterwards to let everyone know that he is not gay despite praising the player’s behind.

The whole idea that someone would have to clarify that they are not gay stems from the perception that being gay is a negative thing. I realize that there are still factions of society who will argue that being gay is a sin or wrong in some other way, but I think most people feel that being homosexual is inconsequential.

Roy Hibbert probably did not intend to be homophobic when he said the phrase. He was probably just trying to keep up his street cred when he uttered it. (Being able to catch one’s self is like a game). Until now, he probably never thought about the root of the phrase and what it really means to gay people. Now that he has been faced with all of that, he has apologized.

Other NBA players have used the phrase “no homo” or even “pause” (which means the same thing) over the past few years and escaped a fine. Dwight Howard said “pause” on national TV in 2011. So did Chris Paul. LeBron has even been heard saying “no homo” during an interview.

Hibbert being fined shows us how much our society has changed in terms of attitudes towards gay people. People could get away with saying one of these phrases a year ago. I even thought it was funny when I posted a “pause” video on the site in 2007. But it’s 2013 now. And if an NBA player feels comfortable coming out as gay, then we should welcome and support him. And if people still think being homophobic is funny, then they are wrong. Because it’s not.

NBA unloads $75k fine on Roy Hibbert for cursing, ho homo drop

Roy HibbertRoy Hibbert was fined $75,000 by the NBA for cursing at the media and dropping a homophobic phrase in his postgame news conference on Saturday following Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals.

After the Indiana Pacers’ 91-77 win over the Miami Heat, Hibbert was asked how it was possible that he, as a strong defensive player, only finished 10th in Defensive Player of the Year voting. He responded by calling the media a bunch of “motherf—ers” who don’t watch the Pacers play during the regular season. Hibbert also raised eyebrows by dropping the street phrase “no homo” after saying something that could otherwise be construed as sounding homosexual.

The Pacers center apologized on Sunday for the “no homo” reference.

“I am apologizing for insensitive remarks made during the postgame press conference after our victory over Miami Saturday night. They were disrespectful and offensive and not a reflection of my personal views. I used a slang term that is not appropriate in any setting, private or public, and the language I used definitely has no place in a public forum, especially over live television. I apologize to those who I have offended, to our fans and to the Pacers’ organization. I sincerely have deep regret over my choice of words last night,” Hibbert said in a statement released by the team.

The NBA still decided to fine him for “using inappropriate and vulgar language.”

The hefty fine indicates three things to me. One, you can’t curse when the league is streaming press conferences live on the web. Two, the NBA is showing that it is taking a strong anti-homophobia stance (as are many other organizations). Three, it shows that the setting in which something is said matters greatly. Had Hibbert said that after a regular season game and it didn’t receive much attention, there likely would not have been much done. But since he said it during the Eastern Conference finals with all the media in attendance, it received notoriety, leading to the strong response from the league. That’s the same reason Joakim Noah and Kobe Bryant were fined so much for using gay slurs — they said in during nationally-televised games.

Roy Hibbert reaches out to Jason Collins after ‘no homo’ drop

Roy HibbertRoy Hibbert must have been feeling the backlash for dropping a “no homo” comment during his postgame news conference on Saturday following the Indiana Pacers’ 91-77 win over the Miami Heat in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals, because he didn’t waste any time reaching out to Jason Collins over Twitter.

The Pacers center sent a tweet to Collins, a free agent center who recently became the first American athlete in a major team sport to come out as gay, likely so they could privately exchange messages about the subject. Here’s the tweet:

For many people, saying things like “that’s gay” or “no homo” is natural and casual, and they don’t realize that the phrases are offensive. But it looks like Hibbert is quickly realizing that some people find “no homo” offensive, and he’s going straight to a source to see the reaction.

Hibbert used poor judgment in saying “no homo”, but credit him for being willing to learn and adjust from his mistakes.

Here are his press conference comments, including him cussing at the media.

Roy Hibbert to media: Y’all motherf—ers don’t watch us during regular season

Roy HibbertRoy Hibbert and the Indiana Pacers have viewed themselves as outsiders trying to knock off the heavily-favored Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference finals. They definitely have that “us against the world” mentality, and nobody exemplifies that attitude more than Hibbert.

Hibbert went for 24 points and 11 rebounds in the Pacers’ 91-77 win over the Heat on Saturday, and after the game he took the opportunity to blast the media for supposedly disrespecting him and his team.

One media member asked Hibbert why he finished so low in Defensive Player of the Year voting, and he gave a profane response.

“You finished only 10th in [Defensive] Player of the Year voting. How do you think that’s possible when you alter so many shots?” he was asked.

“I mean, you know what? Cuz y’all motherf—ers don’t watch us play throughout the year, to tell you the truth,” Hibbert said. “Alright? So that’s fine, you know. I’m going to be real with you, and I don’t care if I get fined. We play, we’re not on TV all the time. Reporters are the ones that are voting. It is what it is. And if I don’t make it, that’s fine. I’m still going to do what I have to do.”

While I appreciated the fire Hibbert showed in that response, some say that his point is inaccurate. Their evidence is that his teammate Paul George won Most Improved Player, which is also voted on by the media. But I disagree, because it’s easy to see George’s ascendance just by looking at his stats, whereas you need to really watch them play to see Hibbert’s full defensive value.

Hibbert also had another questionable moment in his press conference. The Pacers center said “no homo” after one comment. “No homo” is a street saying people use when they recognize they said something that could be interpreted as homosexual, so they say “no homo” to clarify that that’s not how it was intended. “Pause” is a phrase that means the same thing, and we have seen other NBA players use that expression, too.

You can hear his comment in the video below:

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Roy Hibbert on sitting at end of Game 1 against Heat: ‘I need to speak up’

Roy Hibbert benchIndiana Pacers coach Frank Vogel made one of the most inexplicable decisions of the 2013 NBA playoffs on Wednesday night when he had Roy Hibbert, his best post defender, sitting on the bench for the Miami Heat’s final two possessions of the game. LeBron James took full advantage, taking the ball right to the hoop each time and leading Miami to a 103-102 overtime victory.

After the game, Vogel literally had no explanation for why Hibbert wasn’t on the floor.

“I would say we’ll probably have him in next time,” he said.

Naturally, Hibbert was also asked for his thoughts on watching the final seconds of the game from the bench as his team let what could have been a tone-setting win slip away. Next time, he says he’ll let it be known that he feels he should be in the game.

“I’ve grown as a player, this is my fifth year and maybe I need to start talking up more,” Hibbert told Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports on Wednesday night. “They pay me [max-contract money] for a reason.

“I didn’t say anything, and I wish I did. From now on, I need to speak up.”

They don’t pay Hibbert max contract money to make coaching decisions. Those are left to Vogel, but it’s probably not a bad idea for Hibbert to put up a fuss next time if Vogel can’t properly do his job in such a crucial situation.

Who are we kidding — there won’t be a next time. Hibbert is going to be on the floor in any tight games going forward, as he should be. The problem is Vogel’s epic screw-up allowed Miami to steal a game, and the defending champs don’t exactly need any help. The man calling the shots let one get away, and it could cost his team a shot at a championship.

Roy Hibbert inexplicably on bench for Miami Heat’s last two possesions

Roy Hibbert defense

The Indiana Pacers played a great game against the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals. Heck, after Paul George made three free throws to give them the lead with 2.2 seconds left, it looked like they were even going to pull off the win. But luckily Miami had Pacers coach Frank Vogel give them an assist.

Vogel inexplicably pulled center Roy Hibbert out of the game for the Heat’s final two possessions in overtime. With 24.6 seconds left in OT, the game was tied at 99 and Vogel subbed out Hibbert for Sam Young. He initially had Hibbert in the game defending Chris Bosh but decided to make the substitution before Miami inbounded the ball for its possession. Hibbert walked to the bench with his head down, clearly upset with the decision.

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Shane Battier knees Roy Hibbert in the nuts (Video)

Shane Battier Roy HibbertIf you thought Roy Hibbert wasn’t all there during the first half of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals between the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat, it might have to do with him getting nailed in the nuts by Shane Battier.

Battier was driving to the hoop late in the first quarter when he was challenged by the Pacers center. In an instance, two forces converged at the same place at the same time: Hibbert’s groin and Battier’s knee. Hibbert’s manly region was on the losing end of that battle.

Hibbert still had 10 points and four rebounds in the first half despite losing two balls.

Below in GIF form:

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