Following Bryant’s much talked about use of a gay slur during a basket ball game last week, the Lakers player has now recorded a message to fans in which he says that our differences are “what [makes] the world special.”
In the video his teammates join him in urging fans to celebrate the differences we share in race, ethnicity, political beliefs, religion and sexual orientation.
Bryant then ends by telling fans that “words could be hurtful” and asking that fans cultivate “understanding, compassion and acceptance” of others and their differences in order to make the world a better place.
GLAAD, who demanded an apology and action from the NBA following the incident last week, has praised the video:
After meeting with GLAAD and other groups last week -and after we suggested the team send a message about language to its fans at home games - the Lakers took the initiative in creating this script and shooting the video at their practice facility. We thank the Lakers for taking this issue seriously and for taking the time out of their playoff preparations to film this message for fans.
This video is a welcome addition to the NBA’s existing anti-bullying efforts – which were actually started long before last week’s incident. The NBA has been working with our friends at GLSEN for quite some time on a campaign to teach its fans about the power of words. (An ad featuring Phoenix Suns players Grant Hill and Jared Dudley will air during the NBA Finals.)
Bryant was fined $100,000 following the incident, which is estimated to be the highest that a player has been fined by the NBA concerning a gay slur. He is currently appealing the fine. Bryant is estimated to earn around $3 million a year.
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