Bryant fined $100,000 by NBA for anti-gay slur
The NBA fined Kobe Bryant $100,000 for directing an anti-gay slur at referee Bennie Adams during the Lakers' game Tuesday against San Antonio.
"Kobe Bryant's comment during last night’s game was offensive and inexcusable," NBA Commissioner David Stern said in a statement. "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."
Bryant has been widely criticized Wednesday for his outburst.
The Human Rights Campaign, a national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, said in a statement it was a "disgrace" for Bryant to "use such horribly offensive and distasteful language, especially when millions of people are watching."
Bryant was irritated in the game after receiving his 15th technical foul of the season. He pounded a chair on the bench before sitting, threw a towel and then yelled “Bennie!” before muttering the homophobic slur.
Bryant issued a statement Wednesday, saying his comment "should not be taken literally."
"My actions were out of frustration during the heat of the game, period," his statement read. "The words expressed do NOT reflect my feelings towards the gay and lesbian communities and were NOT meant to offend anyone."
The HRC said Bryant did not go far enough toward a formal apology and commended Stern's disciplinary action in a statement: "We hope such swift and decisive action will send a strong and universal message that this kind of hateful outburst is simply inexcusable no matter what the context."
Photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant reacts after making a three-point shot against the Spurs on Tuesday night at Staples Center. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times