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Kobe Bryant appears on 710 ESPN to address anti-gay slur

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant appeared on 710 ESPN's Steve Mason and John Ireland Wednesday to address the anti-gay slur he made during the Lakers' game Tuesday against San Antonio, which prompted the NBA to fine him $100,000 and sparked strong criticism from the Human Rights Campaign, a national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), an LGBT advocacy organization.

Below is the transcript of his answers to some questions:

On what led Bryant to yell a homophobic slur to referee Bennie Adams after picking up his 15th technical foul: "It was just frustration. It was the pure frustration. You're in an emotional game and in the heat of the moment you have outbursts. You say things. It doesn't mean you mean what you say."

On using the slur: I obviously meant nothing to that effect, which is why I wanted to talk about it [on the show] and obviously issuing that statement and of that nature. 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."

What he would say to Bennie Adams: That wasn't a ... foul (laughs). Obviously we talked after and during the game when both of us were a little calmer. Officials understand that and that you have emotional outbursts during the game. That doesn't mean you mean what you say. They understand that. We understand that as players obviously when you have outburst you get fines and technical fouls like I did.

On what he'd say to GLAAD and HRC: I will be saying something. I plan on talking to talking to them. Out of this, I believe it's our responsibility as athletes and those in the spotlight to bring awareness of these issues. It's coming from a negative light, but it's our responsibility to make it into a positive and raise awareness as much as we can and say it's not okay to insult or discriminate. It's not the right thing to do. I will say something to them and talk about doing things to help prohibit hate crimes and violence. It's important to do that.

On the $100,000 fine: You got to own up and take responsibility for what it is. I'm not going to sit here and say it's not warranted, this, that and the other. It's a judgment call they decided to make and I abide by it. We will appeal it and that's typical protocol. We'll wait and see. But as an individual, you have to be responsible for your own actions. The comments I made were perceived differently than I thought them to be, but they're nonetheless wrong.

On what he thought when he said the gay slur: I was thinking about the game. I wasn't thinking about anything else. I was sitting on the bench and this is a game we needed to win. I was in the moment and the emotions were me being wrapped up in the moment. Having the outburst is totally normal. Hopefully, other players look at what happened with me. When you look at what's going on in the league, there's things that are said that should not be said. Hopefully, they'll learn from this and follow suit.


GLAAD says it has talked to Lakers about Kobe Bryant's anti-gay slur

Kobe Bryant says his anti-gay slur should not be taken literally

Video: Kobe Bryant appears to direct anti-gay slug at referee

-- Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at

Photo: Kobe Bryant on the bench moments before his introduction before taking on the San Antonio Spurs at Staples Center April 13, 2011. Credit: Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (59)

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Kobe did not nothing wrong! He shouldn't be fined.

Rescind his fine and formally apologize (Stern) to Kobe for slurring his character!

Don't apologize, Kobe.

You've explained yourself. That's enough.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.


Point well let's move on.

He said it due to frustrations, why further ado about nothing. He already paid the $ 100K after being frustrated and words spoken offended gays and lesbian community. If you still disagree and not satisfied with the action, move on to another team.

This is a sad day for Kobe, for the Lakers for the NBA. That he came out, in a moment in anger with such a nasty slur, it means deep inside he holds a deep hatred. If the ref or another player had used the now infamous politically correct for the 21st century 'N' word - wow, would Kobe have been angry! Kobe should be penalized more heavily for this. He should be suspended for at least one game.

We have too many big shot athletic 'heros' who are continually giving the wrong message to their fans, especially young people. It has to stop somewhere...whether it is using verbal insults or shooting up steroids, there are major morality issues we collectively must face. I am a big Laker's fan and loved Kobe Bryant. Now after this outrageous remark, he is just as guilty as the Barry Bonds and A-Rods who abuse their position, their salaries, and place in society.


it doesn't matter one bit if Kobe does or doesn't like homosexuality. people don't have to like or dislike homosexuals. there's only a problem if they are abusing or discriminating against them. people are entitled to their own opinions and to like/dislike whomever it pleases them to like/dislike.

being that for most homosexuals, it's a "lifestyle" issue, homosexuality itself is a moral issue, just like heterosexuality outside of reproduction is or isn't.

calling people names isn't so much a moral issue as it is bad taste, which has NOTHING to do with basketball.

Piccolo u r just a with it

I was told it is okay to abuse a public figure

Picolo, I think you're totally wrong. When I first heard about the incident, I expected there would be a fine. Now that we've heard the amount, I'm against - as a concept - any fine at all.

Firstly, this is not to defend what Kobe said or suggest it is appropriate or 'OK' in heated situations, or to debate the degree to which he 'meant it'.

But, he's getting fine because a broadcast crew picked up on the mic him using an offensive word, and it getting broadcast on national television. What I'm reading in a few articles is that players (not to mention fans) use that and other slurs ALL THE TIME. In earshot of referees, coaches, team and league personnel, on the court and in the locker room. What makes this instance any different than those other instances?

Furthermore, there is no "N-word" fine - and that's a word you'll hear constantly on an NBA court. I wasn't aware that the N-word was no longer offensive. You could argue that since the players use it so freely, well, it's not offending any of them, so it shouldn't be a fine - of course, that argument doesn't hold up if the idea is that other people somewhere else could be offended. I know that as an older-school african american, I never use the N-word and am offended when people use it in my presence - but I would never feel like a player, except in some extreme circumstances - should be find for using that word, or other slurs.

I think he was just frustrated. He made a mistake and he's owned up to it. Hopefully people will move on.

It will be alright. Children will still play, the grass will still grow, and the sky is not falling.

i think that they are making wayyyyy too much out of this. I am pretty sure that other players have said worse things than Kobe did.

Where does the $100K go? Who benefits from Kobe's fine? How about giving it to some non-profit organization to help those who need it. So much is made of these type of incidents when there are so many more important things to address. How about the Japanese relief fund?!!!!!!!!

He was fined, said he was sorry get over it. Being in his position with all the pressure of the game. He said something that was over blown. Any homosexual who has never, ever said any kind of slur, throw the first stone. Nobody is perfect so just lets get the playoffs going and just drop it.

Would it kill the guy to just say "I'm sorry."?
What do we say when we're truly sorry:
"I'm sorry."

Urrrgh. This just gets worse.

Repost because this comment mysteriously disappeared......

Hi phred, its good to see you are still working hard to keep this blog in good spirits. -
"Its all about the love, right?"

And Sonny Belfast, an ounce of maturity please! In another week the Kings will be the Anaheim Royals and just a trivia answer to a Jeapordy answer.

"And the answer is....."This NBA basketball team, that plays second fiddle to the Clippers, used to play in a Cow Town, shrouded with Tule fog"....any one?...any one?....sorry, that's the Sacramento Kings.....Alex looks at his producer puzzled, "Was there REALLY an NBA team in Sacramento?"

If he was sincere, he would make a point of NOT appealing the fine. It seems those of you who commented think this is "sort of ok" or "normal" It isn't. Gay kids love sports too, and they need good role models who show respect to all people. This demeaning slur can't be brushed aside anymore than the N word can. It's all bad behavior.

Well, I hope Kobe wins his appeal and then the NBA can say they were proactive. Hopefully, this "non-incident" will get some rest. This is just as silly over the uproar in his appearance of the "Turkish Airlines" commercial.

Anyway, I hope the Lakers can lock up the 2nd seed in the west and that Bynum and Barnes will be available this weekend for the march toward the championship. Get well Steve Blake. From what I've read, Chicken Pox for an adult is a horrible experience.

The team looks vulnerable for the post season but the key word is "looks." I still believe the style of the game and the urgency in the playoffs suits this team perfectly. They will prevail and yes, Bynum is a huge part of that successful equation.

"We're worried about our execution. That's all we did then and that's all we'll do now." #24 K. Bryant

"Everything about the Lakers is geared toward winning playoff games. It's what they do." J.A. Adande

"Even when we didn’t make the playoffs, I thought we'd win the championship." Dr. Bus

"...they're shaking like virgins on prom night."
viewer comment by faithdalakerfan @ 10:03 pm

Go Lakers & In Buss We Trust!!

Kudos to Kobe for 'man-ing up' and admitting what he said. Note to the Laker sychophants: He DID do something wrong. Note to the Laker haters: It was NOT a declaration of hatred for gays.Every male in the US who ever went through high school was inculturated with a crude collection of throw-away insult lines, many of which manage to stick in your consciousness, like slime on a mudflap. Even now, I catch myself saying 'retarded' and then wince about how that would come across to the family members of someone who is developmentally disabled. The point is: some language is hurtful and even if no offense was made, it is understandable when offense is taken. I'm gonna cheer for my team to beat the Lakers, but I gotta call it like I see it...

I am deeply disappointed with Kobe Bryant and his rationalization of his completely unacceptable slur by arguing that he just wanted to win the game. His inability to control his temper is simply no excuse for his deplorable remark. He joins the ranks of Mel Gibson, Christian Slater and Michael Richards. This is not the classy behavior which Laker fans have every right to expect from their team. Can you imagine Kareem doing that? Absolutely not. Kobe needs to work hard to make this up to Laker fans, the general community and especially to young people who may be victimized by bullies encouraged by Kobe's despicable remarks.

I wish I could be Kobe's attorney in his appeal process. What some are missing in this big deal about nothing is.................was that a foul? I think to some extent that is lost in all of this............I looked at the film and Kobe did a "swim" move to establish position in the post in a crucial situation and the ref just signaled Kobe for a foul..................THE CALL WAS RIDICULOUS!

If David Stern really cared about the game instead of having this gustapo type justice he should establish some type of public forum to address the performance of refs and the refs should be subject to a grading system. Why should the refs be above the game? These refs as the game stands have the ability to affect the game........with impunity!

I think Kobe being villified for this is an excuse to do so............and not a reason. Juxtaposed this scenario to this quote by Phil Jackson after he had time to think before speaking in a post conference after a loss in 2007 against Sacramento

"We call this a 'Brokeback Mountain' game because there's so much penetration and kick-outs," Jackson said. "It was one of those games."

This statement was certainly more graphic and offensive than what Kobe said...........yet Phil wasn't even fined............he was reprimanded, but not fined.

Phil later went on ESPN and made this apology

"It's poor humor," Jackson said. "I deserve to be reprimanded by the NBA. If I've offended any horses, Texans, cowboys or gays, I apologize."

Suffice it to say that if Kobe gets any flak from gay groups and if David Stern doles out punishment indiscriminately.............where were they during these statements by Phil Jackson?

In fact.............Where were you?


"That he came out, in a moment in anger with such a nasty slur, it means deep inside he holds a deep hatred (for gays). "

This is a ridiculous comment. What terms do YOU use in fits of rage?? Personally, I like to use the term "bastard", but in no way do I have a "deep hatred" or any negative feelings towards children born out of wedlock. It's simply a word I've grown up with, similar to "byatch, motha f*****, etc. The word "faggot" is no different. I can understand why the gay and lesbian community is upset. "Faggot" is a word that reminds them of the prejudice and hatred that they've had to endure, but to question Kobe's deep seeded feelings based on WORDS that, like it or not, have been part of our society for years, is silly and baseless.

I think this guy needs to be in jail for rape but he's rich so he got away with it. He sure is homophobe. His best buddy should be Tim Hardaway.

welcome to 2011. faggot doesnt have the same meaning it used to and people are still obsessing over stupid bs. id love to reflect on everyones life that says he should be punished and find a time when they said something like that

"I was told it is okay to abuse a public figure - Norcal"

WRONG! Bennie is not a public figure. Make a research again about public figures, you are such a troll in using different handles including Norcal This is the last time I will ever respond to your post because I believer your response are done out of an intentional spite.

Kobe!!! you are the man! You spoke for us! We should start exercise more freedom of speech. Article 19 is not just for them.

To MRB: Yeah would not feel like a player should be fined for calling another player the "N" word? So if Dirk called Kobe an F***'n N****r and the camera crew and mic caught him saying it with as much emotion as Kobe did, you would be against a fine? Are you going backwards in time? There are certain lines that individuals in our day and age must not cross. I applaud the NBA for putting their foot down on this issue, and they must be consistent about it. Now, I do agree $100,000 is pretty steep, but Kobe is a brighter star with more ears listening than nearly any other athlete out there, and homophobic comments have been revealed to cause tremendous pain in recent news, so I believe this is the league's justification. I like the message, David Stern.

Just looked in to the NO/Dallas Cuban's game and Dallas is going all out to win.....They want our #2 spot...well they can't have it.

Americas Mask has been removed!!!!
The entire country is built on a foundation of deceit & Lies !!! America says their Morals and Laws of the land are Motivated & influenced by the Holy bible ! Big Fat Lier !! The Bible says that A Man should not lay with a Man and A Woman should not lay with a woman !!! Come on people Let's not be tricked out of our entire Lives !!! Should Kobe really be paying a fine or should America Have a Major fine to pay for deceiving Gods people !!!

"it means deep inside he holds a deep hatred"


Unfortunately, in our society, there are terms and phrases used to describe homosexual the lifestyle that couple as generic derogatory remarks.

To believe it was actually motivated by hate (as opposed to anger/insensitivity) would be to believe that Kobe was referring to Bennie as gay. And I doubt that he is

You can't say something that offensive and excuse it by saying it "It was just frustration. It doesn't mean you mean what you say." If a white player had used the N word in a moment of frustration, would that be ok too? I don't think so...

anthony lopez,

I have probably heard homosexuals in my presence use the term in question at least 300 times in my life.

This Orwellian control of language is bad for society and is used by special interests to attempt to control others.

The problem is, when we limit open, free, and EMOTIONALLY HONEST discourse nothing gets resolved. Instead things just get bottled up. The truth is, if you ignore a problem long enough, it will go away, but it almost ALWAYS turns into something a lot worse and a lot more difficult to resolve.

People need to get over themselves, realize it is not other people's responsibility to keep THEM from feeling offended, and be open to accepting other people's perspective, even when we disagree with it, as long as it does not try to control our own.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.


To all the posters that think calling someone the "F" word is not as offensive ...what if a player had called someone the "N" word..? He'd be MORE than fined. He'd be drummed out. That attitude and language has no place among PROFESSIONALS, regardless of their frustrations. All that behavior showed is that he is in the habit of saying that sort of comment, probably many times, camera.

So .... there's one possible brightspot.

Maybe Kobe will use this to fuel his rage and take it out on the rest of the NBA.

These people don't know how to read lips.

Kobe didn't say he WAS a ......... Kobe said he WANTED a ............

He was just stressed out and asked the wrong person for a cigarette. Can't punish a guy for needing little stress relief!

Gay and homosexual group called this a moral issue when homosexuality itself is a moral issue. What happened to our society?

Lakers Truth, if I go off into a rage, I just jump into my Spanish and no one understands me. (see Ricky Ricardo on 'I love Lucy')

"Oh Bennie! Callate el osico gordota!"

If Kobe had follwed my example, he would be $100,000 richer right now.

Posted by: pfunk36 | April 13, 2011 at 05:31 PM

I had to take the time out to post, since this is the 'one and only' post of yours that I fully agree with...

Great point!!!

Here's the thing...

This moment has given us an opportunity to express the irrationality of political correctness.

Why? Because homosexuals are a relatively vulnerable and passive group.

No one's probably going to be making death threats to Kobe for making this statement in bad taste.

Now, let's say it was Pau Gasol, and he used the "N-Word"? (I can't believe I have to imply the word and can't just type it. It's so bizarre to me. Because EVERYONE knows what I'm talking about. I just can't use the actual word... which is totally crazy.)

What would the reaction be like?

I'm sure much, MUCH worse. (Even moreso if it were Luke! God, can you even imagine?)

But it's the same monster.

Same stupidity.

Words with too much power, too much fear, too much control.

It's insane and it has to end sooner or later.

I vote "Sooner!"

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.


Jon K, you're still attacking this issue with much more fervor than anyone on the side you're against. I can't even tell what you want the outcome to be.

You're arguing for everyone to be able to say whatever they want, but you also don't seem to want people to be able to speak out against things that offend them (something you're currently doing). Which is it? You're on both sides of the fence here.

Fatty Amigo, I failed to recognize ur return. We have to protect our fort for being attacked. What's up, where have u been since November? Sorry Mamba24 is not here to welcome your presence tho just hang on, he may be returning during the playoffs.

I want to join your Cluck group, we are the little chicken who don't want to be associated with the fox. lmao!


you asked: Gay and homosexual group called this a moral issue when homosexuality itself is a moral issue. What happened to our society?

Posted by: dice8up | April 13, 2011 at 05:55 PM

my response: We made money into a god.

@PDXCHARLIE & LAKER TRUTH … Thanks for bringing some sanity to this subtly homophobic discussion of Kobe’s verbal blunder. Both of you zoomed in on the heart of the matter. And I give Kobe credit for saying he was going to do something proactive to show his sincerity rather than some ridiculous mea culpa for crimes he didn’t commit. I have dear gay friends and two gay nephews that I love with all my heart but I have at time used the words Kobe uttered in anger. It’s a remnant of my youth for sure. Hopefully, less for those of you who are younger. Kobe screwed up and owned up.

There was an excellent discussion of this by Ray Ratto on local talk radio this afternoon. His take is that the fine was ridiculous because it was only levied in response to public opinion pressure. The same phrase and worse have probably been uttered over and over through the years. What should have come out of this situation should have been a campaign to teach the players how disrespectful and hurtful that phrase is to gay and lesbians to stop it from being part of the smack being used. I thought he was dead right. It really is sort of hypocritical to fine Kobe so much. Purely for show.

I hope that the Lakers bloggers who have thought this entire issue was overblown will take what Kobe has said and what he plans to do to heart. The words are extremely hurtful and for those against whom they weren’t aimed to claim otherwise is sad. I you believe in and trust Kobe, then follow the lead he has taken and eliminate the phrase from your own personal dictionary and understand how tolerating hateful and hurtful language can lead to tolerating and even encouraging hate crimes.

Looks like the typical Laker front-running fans here. Not that they'd ever admit it, but Bryant as been an insufferable, petulant punk since he entered the league. And when Bynum went down last night? More Lakers front-runners, tearing up Twitter, claiming Bynum should have been traded, why did they keep him, etc. Very few, "Hey, get betters!"; almost all anti-Bynum--for getting hurt! Anyway, those of you who weren't bothered by Bryant's immature outburst probably wouldn't mind a stranger calling your gay cousin, brother, uncle or closeted father that, either, right?

The Human Rights group is making much too much about a slip of the tongue. Who amoung us, gay, hetro, bi, trans or otherwise, have never spoken out in anger and wished they hadn't. Sometimes the "rights" groups are just looking for a bandwagon. Should Kobe have said the word, no, it was a mistake in a very emotional, heated moment. Look what's on the line for him, his team, and Laker fans. If he had used a different slur, the HR group and othes would simply dismiss it. Try carrying the load Kobe does - 24/7 - 365 days a year!!!!!!!!

I love you Kobe and the Lakers! He has nothing to apologize for. He did not mean it to offend gays or lesbians! The GLAAD and HRC need to take it down a notch and get over it no one cares! This fine is ridiculously stupid!!! I LOVE YOU LAKERS! Let's win this!

Good evening Edwin....

We had moved to the Phoenix area to escape the winter and unfortunately, our home was not well connected to the internet. We are back in Flagstaff for the rest of the spring/summer and well connected. So, unfortunately for some here, we are now connected with a fully functional, 'Death-Star-like computer', ready to take on the those unfortunate trolls who unwittingly fall into our blog.

Am realy looking forward to sharing some more playoff memories with you all.

To MRB: Yeah would not feel like a player should be fined for calling another player the "N" word? So if Dirk called Kobe an F***'n N****r and the camera crew and mic caught him saying it with as much emotion as Kobe did, you would be against a fine? Posted by: Jefenc | April 13, 2011 at 05:41 PM

dunno about MRB, but i surely would be against one. believe me, if Dirk called Kobe or ANYone around the NBA the N word, either he's already got a pass to use it just like black people do, or the folks in the NBA would be able to handle it amongst themselves just fine. regardless, though, the fine is lame, just another bit of spin and marketing. it's just some more Newspeak in action.
my response: We made money into a god.

Posted by: hobbitmage | April 13, 2011 at 06:13 PM


Jon K-you're on point. people are quickly being converted into helpless victims who must constantly run to "authority" to tattle on "things they don't like". unmutual! unmutual! UNMUTUAL!

Hey everyone,

When NBA players are levied fines, all the money eventually goes to charity. The NBA Players' Association receives and donates half the money and the NBA receives and donates the other half to charities the players' association has approved. So, it appears to get spread among many organizations who put the money to good use.

Here's a link for the entire story:

Enjoy the postseason.


fag·got·y, fag·got·ty, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2011.
World English Dictionary
faggot or esp ( US ) fagot 1 (ˈfæɡət)

— n
1. a bundle of sticks or twigs, esp when bound together and used as fuel
2. a bundle of iron bars, esp a box formed by four pieces of wrought iron and filled with scrap to be forged into wrought iron
3. a ball of chopped meat, usually pork liver, bound with herbs and bread and eaten fried

As usual nothing write or talk about. I am no fan of Kobe but what the heck?

I think they should fine the camera guy for putting the camera on him while he said it. Everybody knows you say things you don't mean in frustration, it's ridiculous this is even an issue.

"But as an individual, you have to be responsible for your own actions."

From Kobe's lips to everyone's ears.

I like this guy.

GO LAKERS ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

This situation with Kobe has gotten totally outta control. What he said was wrong no doubt. But really, let's just get over it and move on. It was not a federal offense. How many times has a man referred to his male friends PMS-ing or anybody having a 'senior moment' or a 'dyslectic moment' etc. These are all 'slurs'. He was frustrated. He has had a disproportionate number of fouls made upon him all season with no calls from the refs. That was the second time this season he has been given a T for 'clapping his hands'! Really?? I can understand him being angry. He just needs to learn some less specific offensive words like a$$ho** or di**head or whatever. And as for him being a role model....who are your kids being raised by? You or Kobe? He's an athlete. And a very hard working one at that. So if you want to make him an example to your kids, then point out his amazing work ethic and how he shows up hours before the game/practice to shoot baskets. My kids grew up watching sports, questionable movies and tv shows and both of them have grown to be exceptionally respectful adults. I hope it's cuz they were taught to be respectful and independent thinkers at home.

I agree with Piccolo 100%.

Here's my 2 cents:

These ballplayers get to be superstars, making lots of money and getting attention. No matter what their fans may think, being a celebrity comes along with a need for responsibility and accountability. I think the fine is just. No matter whether he was slurring gays, someone's race, disability, etc, etc. This fine is a great example for other players and for the public.

I really understand why Kobe got fined however, I am wondering how many players say what kobe just said whenever the cameras are off of them.

This is what you get... its kinda easy to nowadays find a reporter or two trying to catch any negative action from a role model or whatever it is just to sale a magazine or whatever. TNT cameras were focusing on this guy in stead of the game and ball itself

prediction for the playoffs:

Lakers: 16 Wins

7 Losses

What some commenters and various talking heads and media types need to remember or learn from this situation is that what he said was not just offensive to the LGBT community. It was offensive to the much larger community (including millions of straight people) who don't appreciate hate speech, whether uttered by our friends, family, coworkers, heroes, role models, or other public figures. I support the fine, I support the player's association's standard practice of appealing the fine, and in light of his outburst, I commend Kobe for taking full responsibility for his words and I hope he will continue to work with various humans rights organizations to use his high level of visibility to shed light on this issue.




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