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

Kobespurs Lakers guard Kobe Bryant responded Wednesday to mounting criticism regarding his use of a homophobic slur in Tuesday's game against San Antonio.

"What I said last night should not be taken literally," Bryant said in a statement. "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."

Bryant was irritated after receiving his 15th technical foul of the season and yelled out at referee Bennie Adams.

The TNT telecast captured Bryant's outburst during the Lakers' 102-93 victory. He pounded his seat on the bench before sitting, threw a towel and then yelled "Bennie!" before appearing to mutter the homophobic slur. TNT announcer Steve Kerr said on the air, "You might want to take the cameras off of him right now, for the children watching from home."

Bryant was criticized by the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization.

"What a disgrace for Kobe Bryant to use such horribly offensive and distasteful language, especially when millions of people are watching," the HRC said in a statement. "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 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. Bryant and the Lakers have a responsibility to speak up on this issue immediately. America is watching.”

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), the nation’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy and anti-defamation organization, also issued a statement after Bryant's comment.

“Discriminatory slurs have no place on or off the court,” said GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios. “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.”

Bryant's outburst is also being reviewed by the NBA and could draw a fine.

If Bryant picks up a 16th technical foul Wednesday night in the Lakers' regular-season finale against Sacramento, he will be suspended for the Lakers' opener next season.

--Mike Bresnahan

Photo: Kobe Bryant talks to referee Bennie Adams after getting a technical foul in Tuesday's Lakers game against the Spurs. Credit: Reuters / Lucy Nicholson.

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I agree that political correctness needs to die fast cause this is not really news folks. You have been brainwashed to think that it is but it is not. Whats going on in Japan with the radiation is news but i log onto the LATimes and see nothing about the japan nuclear crisis on the front page. It insults my intelligence to see this on the front page. This is more media manipulation cause you cant take something harmless that goes on everyday in society and turn it into something bad unless you are trying to manipulate people with some hidden agenda. Ya know, Kobe is more of a role model now in my book. I bet over 90 % of Americans feel the same way.

GLAAD... HRC, damn, ENOUGH! Not just because you heard a man said something means something to you. It's just a freakish word that you can and even others can utter whenever you're tryna express your feelings! Enough giving freakishly clean statements over the press or whatever. Fine, he said something, SO WHAT?! You guys in GLADD/HRC or whoever aren't born spineless or emotionless monsters right? Ain't no ROBOTS too! We care for your insecurities and for all you wanted just to belong, just stay the heck of the basketball grounds. You wanna be popular? Hold your fort... but not to the expense of others fame! That's the BS disrepect you will ever do.

Goodness gracious, I hope this slip of the tongue doesn't affect his performance.

Most kids above the age of six have already learned all dirty words from thier friends and/or their parents, and could probably teach Kobe some new ones.

What happened to freedom of speech.What a joke 'PC-culture'

@chris Kid, I guarantee that #1 you're a racist and #2 You are a ball Licker/fondeler

Wow coming from Bryant that he did not mean to offend anybody. Hmmmm do you think, Mr. Bryant that people are that stupid. Didn't you mean to say those anti-gay words to the referee Bennie Adams???

Whether Bryant or anybody means anything or not is a different question, but NBA should not allow players to badmouth the referees. Period.

If this was a Cricket game each and every one of these NBA players would have been totally banned from playing the game.

Like I've said before, our society, sadly, has become more coarse. When role models "act out" in front of an audience, those who watch who are young players will emulate,. Would anyone feel that it is OK for a high school basketball player to do this before a crowd? He could then said, well people didn't care if KB said it. Why should they care if I do? Few who write understand what young people who look up to athletes are thinking. As a high school coach for 20 years and a reporter in my twilight hours, I fully recognize the effect of role models on youth. Some of you should also.

Imagine if say, Paul Gasol, had lost his temper and called Bennie Adams the n-word. I can imagine a brawl breaking out over that kind of incident. But the reaction to a homosexual slur is just like, get over it.

I get that Kobe was frustrated and upset, and I don't really believe that he meant it literally, but I do believe that he ought to be a little more self-aware about making these kind of slurs because I doubt he would be so nonchalant about it if a gay man called him the n-word.

Give him a break, he was upset, slip of the tongue. We all suffer prejudice of some kind or another. Each person is a minority. We had a saying when we were kids. "Sticks and stones, will hurt my bones, but names will never hurt me" It is the truth that hurts. They gay community is bringing more abuse down on themselves by causing problems over his temper tantrum. Both Kobe and the gay community need to step back and take a real look at themselves. The whole world is a little odd dear, save me and thee, and even thee dear, is a little odd :)

Why is this front page? Way to dig deep LA Times.

Once again, the homosexual community seeking attention.

The hypocrasy in this city is mindblowing. Yeah, just give him the benefit of the doubt. Why not make a fuss over this like you would any other random politically incorrect statement?

He wasn't being homophobic. He was just being douchey. Oh, I'm sorry if I offended the douchebag community. My bad.

***** If the referee called Kobe the "N" word would it be a different story?

***** I don't think the referee would get away with a simple apology, do you?


what about wetback....kike.....spic......

Go Kobe,, your my HERO!!!! NO worries about those gay bigots. They can't defend the USA . IMagine, 100% gay in the military and on the basketball team. Sounds like special olympic to me.

Thank you again, LA Times for another NON ISSUE! LGBTs are not a protected class, nor should they be treated as such.

Who cares. I'd rather criticize basketball players for their offensive tattoos.

Here's the general rule...

If Kobe is going to use terms that some may find offensive, he can't personally be offended when others use terms to describe him using terms that some find offensive.

Pretty simple.

People need to take personal responsibility for their own emotional state.

Making words taboo is utterly retarded.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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


We all say offensive things under our breath when we think that no one can hear us.

breaking news fellow lakers fans, the bynum injury is ONLY a bone bruise! he will be ready to go game 1 of the first round, pheeeww.


I guess since you are one without sin, you are able to cast the first stone.

Talk about ignorant HYPOCRISY.

"Kobe is not a bigot.”

Au contrarie. I think his actions and his words tell us who he is. Losing his temper and shouting slurs at a ref in a professional game? What would he, Kobe, be saying and doing if a ref hurled a racial slur at him? What if the ref said, “Don’t take it literally. The heat of the moment made me do it?” I hope Kobe at least apologizes to the ref, the team, the fans, and the NBA.

Homosexuals, lesbians and pedophiles all practice deviant sexual behavior. They should be reviled, not cajoled. Neither Kobie or anyone else should feel anything about expressing their true feelings about this minority group.

You can get killed for using the N word.

GIVE ME A BREAK....this is on "on court" in the heat of the battle comment...when did political correctness invade this area of sports. What is said on the court or the field between combatants is irrelevant to the "social conscienceness" to others. Absolutely nothing should be done , not even a fine. Kevin Garnett would never last 2 minutes on the court if this applies.
Next the NFL will be going after offensive lineman.

Is this like the N word, the scared of it's own shadow LA times won't even use the first letter.

For all those speaking up for the First Amendment right to free speech I suggest that Kobe could just as well have used the "N" word and not the "F" word to vent. Think about it folks....

All I know is, I curse alot. But when I'm in the company of religious people, or people who I think I might offend by cursing, I don't. It's simple self-control. Kobe knows he's on TV. Is he unable to control himself? Isn't that what got him in trouble in Colorado? Just saying, it may be a mistake, but it's one he shouldn't make, no excuses. Especially not BS ones like the one he gave!

When comedian Michael Richards used the "N" word during a comedy routine 200 people in a club were watchng, he was national news for a week and was universally castigated. Why is it ok for Kobe Bryant to use a derogatory term for a minority group, during a playoff game with millions watching? Wrong is wrong, no matter which group you're insulting.

Sorry seems to be the hardest word.

Just say it, Kobe. You'll feel better

My thinking Kobe is a jerk has nothing to do w/ his slur! Who hasn't called someone an offensive name when angered;,justified or not? You know the old saying, 'he who is without . . . throw the first stone.' So, those of you who want his fined or suspended, get over it!

Society is to SOFT these days! Stop worrying and judging other people! He is not going to apologize and should not! GET OVER IT

lack of Class, sore loser, cry baby? All words that come to mind when i think of Kobe Bryant. Isn't the first time this has happened. You judge a player by the way he loses not by the way he wins. Yes he is a good player.. yes he has rings, but he is far from being considered a class act or a legend in my book. This guy is just plain arrogant.

Even us non-basketball fans know Kobe's a wimp.

Thanks for posting Bynum's tweet I can breathe again. :-)

Slow news day at the LA Slimes

What would you expect from the nigger

Here is my apology(note, it is same as his):
"What I said should not be taken literally," "My actions were out of frustration during the heat of reading the article, period. The words expressed do NOT reflect my feelings towards the black and African-American communities and were NOT meant to offend anyone."

No problem, Kobe. Its okay if three letter F word slips out when you're mad. You'll understand, I'm sure, if the N word slips out when I'm mad. If you're offended, well, it shouldn't be taken literally.

What is going on this season? All of a sudden players can not yell, scream, throw their hands up in the air or show any sign of frustration during the game! That is why they are all getting edgy and Kobe had the right to cuss last night. It is a shame that he had to pick on the gay community, he could have called the referee SOB and be done with it. Last night refs were really picking on the Lakers! they haven't been playing well this season and the new restrictions are not helping either!

tired of the gay lobby trying to police everyone's language. one CAN say you fag..t without being homophobic. things should not ALWAYS be taken litterally, that's what differentiates humans from animals. unless gays want to be considered as animals???

Oh Kobe.... Just buy the HRC a nice diamond ring and lets move on.

The slur offends me. It should be no more accepted than saying the "N" word. Sorry, haters, you are totally on notice: zero tolerance for homophobic slurs. And if you just can't help yourself, then deal with the consequences. Because there WILL be consequences. Depend on it.

Ha! Who cares? The only people offended are Giants and Warriors fans.

Kobe needs to check himself but I highly doubt he is anti-gay.

Because it's the Lakers, it's supposed to be a non-issue. Because it's Kobe, we're supposed to give him a pass. Because he's an athlete, we're supposed to ignore it because of the "heat of the moment." Because one gay person wrote in and said "I'm not offended", that makes it OK. Because Kobe said, "it shouldn't be taken literally", we shouldn't.

Then exactly how should we take it? What if it was a white player and the word wasn't "f*gg*t" but "n*gg*r?" Still OK? Or does it depend on who the player was? Making too big a deal out of this? If it happened to you on the street and you were called a slur - you would just let it slide, right?

A basketball game doesn't give license for boorish, unacceptable behavior. And Kobe, if you didn't mean it literally, why that word? There are lots of other uncomplimentary terms you could have used - but you chose that one. Other athletes have said worse? Yeah, and they're idiots too. And as one sycophant has said here, this has nothing remotely to do with a desire to control anyone by making a word taboo. It's about civility. It's about common sense. It's about living up to expectations (low as they may be ) for behavior by someone who, like it or not, believe it or not, is idolized by millions of kids.

What do they play for? Rings. To put through their noses. Of course, that shouldn't be taken literally.

Wonder how Kobe would have reacted if someone directed a racial slur toward him. I guess it's ok in this country to be offended by racial comments but not gay comments. He should be fined $50,000 with the money going to gay rights groups.

Homophobe? Rapist? Just another American role model hero, raking in the bucks.

If he were a white athlete and used the so called 'N' word??
We would never hear the end of it.
Faggot is on equal ground as far as offensive goes.
( I happen to be gay )

That said?
He apologized, has no history of prejudice that I know of, and
what more do you want??

End of story.

( FAN SINCE '71 )

"America is watching."

Correct - America is watching to see if the Lakers 3-peat. HRO, GLAAD, whoever - get the hell over yourselves!!!

Does this mean that if Kobe had called the ref a c--t, that he hates vaginas? Just sayin'.....

Get over it!! Kobe was frustrated as all players get sooner or later and the refs aren't always fair in their calls! This is still America where freedom of speech still goes! Hey, Kendrick Perkins hadn't earned the right to vocally be critical of Pau & Phil Jackson, but that's his problem.

First of all this was not a slur towards the Gay community and the fact they are making it such is ridiculous. Had he called him a MF would they be saying the same thing? No way, and neither would all of the mothers around the world. He was pissed off and used a profane series of words at the referee which happens every game in every sport just about. Kobe was not literally calling him anything remotely related to the gay community and that was akin to calling him a F'N A-Hole. No different so they need to get off his back.

It's a common insult - like calling a woman a Biatch - because you call one woman that name does not mean you hate all women or that you believe all women are biatches - don't get your panties in wad over something so minor. by the way is the Ref a faggola?

ESPN opinion:

I think its possible Kobe figured the Refs were homosexual since they always seem to fornicate him with non-calls.

While you whites calling Kobe a nigger, keep in mind, that so called nigger is a millionaire times over who will never be asking any of you for anything. African American people use the word nigger, to each other to defang the word. Since you whites seem hellbent on never letting the word go.

How tiresome, not to mention the idiots who left their comments.

I am one gay who is going to resume using the N-word. Sounds fair.

-- Ken Camp, Los Angeles

I like Silverlake Guy's comment the best! If I could get a 7 carat diamond out of Kobe Bryant, I'd turn into a gay man. Kobe Bryant is a great basketball player and he's also an a-hole. I'm sure we've noticed that being good at sports has nothing to do with being a good person. Obviously.

Whad he say?

Apparently the paper can't print what he said in the story. Apparently commenters can't write what he said because comments are moderated.

So how am I to judge?

The Lakers wear purple so all is forgiven. What time is the game?

LIGH TEN UP - to demand perfect behaviour of human beings is absurd and demonstrates an unreasonable fragility of ego


I don't see what the problem is. It's not like he meant that in a literal sense to offend and homosexuals. It's something he said out of frustration. Is this word offensive? Yes. Should he say it? No. Does the word still exist? Yes. Derogatory words will always be in language. At least, he apologized for it and knows that it was wrong to say that word.

Whatever !!


He rapes, he's a cheater, he's a bigot, and he's stupid as a brick (he didn't even know who Benedict Arnold was - it had to be explained to him).

In other words, in today's world of Snookies and Kardashians, Kobe is the American dream.

Thanks for not posting my comments I will never buy another LA TIMES Iam cancelling my subscription.

The results of this poll and the contents of this comment board are sad. Professional sports already has such a terrible reputation for sexism and homophobia--the fact that so many people here want to treat this as no big deal is just a symptom of the problem. Kobe's using a horrible anti-gay slur on national television will just perpetuate the difficulties for gay athletes in high school and other places where they don't feel its OK to be gay on their sports teams, etc. Professional sports is now even more homophobic and anti-gay than the military (how many out NBA/NFL/MLB players can you name?) and something has got to give.

I think the NBA's fine is a serious step but I wonder if somebody had used a racial slur or an anti-semitic slur if that player would still be playing tonight.

I've been an OBSESSED Laker fan for years and I'm a huge Kobe fan but fans need to demand accountability from their teams and the league that racism, sexism, and homophobia have no place in professional basketball.

Despite the backwardness of so many participating in this poll, I bet if in 30 years people look at the results of this poll and see that over half of people suggested the league do NOTHING when a superstar called a referee a "f___ing fa__ot" on national television, they will be ashamed of themselves.

Go Lakers.

Anybody else sick of self righteous gays and their sick lifestyles?

" This is more media manipulation cause you cant take something harmless that goes on everyday in society and turn it into something bad unless you are trying to manipulate people with some hidden agenda. Ya know, Kobe is more of a role model now in my book. I bet over 90 % of Americans feel the same way."

So you'd have no problem with a fellow player calling Kobe a stupid nig*er then, right? After all, it's something "harmless" and it's okay as long as the player is a role model.

Why so serious!! As a lesbian I can safely say I was NOT personally offended by Kobe's comment. As for his status as a 'role model's...who exactly is raising your or Kobe. My children grew up watching sports, television and movies and are more than respectful as adults because at home they were taught the difference between right and wrong. And they were taught to be independent thinkers. Can we please just get back to basketball!

This is so lame. Play basketball and be on with it.

Every word in the dictionary can be turned into a slur at some point in time - just listen to music lyrics on the radio - they say words much worse than this and the FCC isn't fining them. Kobe should just claim his first amendment rights and everything will be all better.


What's the big deal? I thought Kobe was making love to refs his whole career? How do you think he gets all those fake foul calls? He has been blowing big zebra dongs his whole career. Lakers fans must feel so betrayed and but hurt because Kobe feels this way about them. Go cry Laker fans, Derrick Rose is going to do Kobe like Michael did Magic- on the basketball court not sexually, you (whatever-Kobe-said)

News flash kobe is not a nice guy. In fact he is a jerk off. Since I have discovered this I have railed against kobe relentlessly. That ref if he heard kobe comment should have tosseed him out of the game last night. The NBA's marque player acted like a 2 year old child on national television. Throwing a tantrum. This makes me wonder about Eagle, Colorado. Hmmm.

if it was the n word used by a white player afro americans would be calling for his head on a for all afro americans that are ok with what Kobe said then remember the next time someone calls you the n word...don't think it was intended to offend! once a suspected rapist and now this....usually where there's smoke there's fire!! arogance and stupidity are a dangerous combination...and kobe has both!

I will be so glad when Kobe Bryant retires I just cannot understand the hatred that so many people have for a young man who is not perfect and neither are the ones that are spewing the hate I do not understand how you can hate another person that you don't know personaly It is scary when I think about the two Dodger fans that beat and almost killed the Giant fan was filled with the same hate that some of you has showned toward Kobe Better check yourselves It's only a game

if only dominant culture had a term that was offensive to white heteros, then maybe they wouldn't be so dismissive of offensive language.

michael hardin,

I've been called "cracker" and "white boy" plenty of times.

I don't particularly like it, but I don't freak out about it.

Why? Because I'm not a thin-skinned, over-sensitive, insecure, control freak who needs to hide behind political correctness to know who I am.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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


Troy . . . You have no statistics to back up your sentence: "He has said a word that all of use at times. It's not a cuss word, and it's not something that any other player in the league hasn't said at one point." It's not a "cuss" word and not something any other player in the league hasn't said." So, Troy, you have some magical powers or somthing... You're insulting the other players in the league and me for YOUR misinformed statement.

kobe is the greatest player in the nba right now! and because of that whatever he does they criticize him for pretty sure if a less significant player would of said something no one would care and it wouldnt be front page news!! i think it was in the heat of the moment, people dont think when theyre mad and whatever is on their mind they say it!! im with kobe on this one! now lets focus on the Lakers getting that 3 peat this year and going to the parade again!!!! im glad my boy bynum is ok the dude is a beast and i think he is the BEST center in the nba if given the ball in the post as much as dwight does!!! so therefore stop crying about kobe cussing and lets get back to the lakers main goal to get that 3 peat boy!!!!!!!!

Are you kidding Being fined $1oo,oo0 for a word ??? The non stop use of profane language that is standard M.O. for coaches,players, even movies and TV today. Disrespecting the name of Jesus and God is a much greater offense and no one is ever fined for all of the above !!! So what kind of mixed up world are we living in. I say no fine, Kobe Do not pay . Get a lawyer and fight this.

well, 3 things were confirmed during that game.
2. people are way too easily offended
3. kobe is still a douchebag

I suppose if someone else was frustrated and said the "n" word during the heat of the game, Kobe would have understood. Right?

So, help me out. What was the trajic slur? Fag, homo, Pole sitter?

How did Americans ever become such wimps???

It is now against the law to hurt someone's feelings??

Grow up.. If you don't want to be called a given stereotype name...don't be one.

If you are not afraid to go against the genral public opinion and be different, so be it.....take the lumps and insults and flip the insulter the bird, bop him on his nose, shoot him, cut off his dingus or whatever, but don't be a frigging crybaby. If you can't take the heat...stay out of the kitchen..

G/L community, thanks for wussifying our country more. So racial slurs, profanity, & religious jabs aren't as bad as this?

I am a 58 year old unemployed electrician. I have $60,161.60 remaining on my mortgage (debt agreement) payment. I am also weighed down with $49,536.66 of credit card debt. While I certainly do no condom the use of vulgar language; neither do I have any sympathy for homosexual conduct. I am a God fearing man; however, as of late; I to have found vulgar language slipping from my lips. In fact, 9 out of 10 people I meet, both male and female “curse like a sailor”. Kobe Bryant curse’s like a sailor, so what! What difference does it makes, whether he uses a homophobic slur, or a vulgar slur against a mother, father, son, daughter, or some other person, place, or thing? Hypocrisy has been a staple of American society since its inception.

Mr. Stern strikes back NBA style and fine Kobe (a multi-multi millionaire) One-Hundred Thousand Dollars: Probably equivalent to fining me one-hundred dollars (that’s if I had a job). I wonder what type of language Mr. Stern uses off camera?

Speaking about off camera, the article states, “Bryant’s words were captured by TNT’s cameras, Bryant punched his chair before taking a seat on the bench after picking up his fourth foul”. Television cameras and microphones are intruding into citizens constitutional rights; and should be restricted from the sidelines. He should appeal the fine on grounds of invasion of privacy and ask Mr. Stern to repeal the fine and instead have him write a 200 word essay apologizing for this action.

Kobe, what a waist of hard earned money; I could have certainly put it to better use! Would you send me $109,698.26 I would greatly appreciate it or just send it to my creditors on my behalf.

Leave the guy alone, Freedom of speech already! What's with all the Political correctness. Say what you please! but be carefull, as you may havet to pay the price for what comes out of your mouth. As for me I will think and believe as I please. Note: Please.... have Respect for my freedom of speech and beliefs. Lets not be Hypocrites. STOP ramming Gay Agenda down peoples throats Already! Not every one wants to support the gay community!If you dont want me to impose on your rights , Please stop imposing on mine! Enough Said...

If a player had used a racial slur and then said what Kobe said there would be a firestorm. It's absolutely unacceptable to use these words and he should apologize. Those of you who are defending him are absolutely APPALLING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What if the "N" word was used by a white player? I am certain that Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpten would be having demonstrations in the parking lot right after the game. Kobe had to publicly apologize when he sexually assulted the girl from Colorado why is this assult and different? I feel a suspention from a few games and a larger fine would fit the crime.

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