Noah Calls $50,000 Fine for Gay Slur ‘Fair’

Chicago Bulls player Joakim Noah has said that he believes his $50,000 fine for making a gay slur toward a heckling fan during a Sunday night game  is “fair” and that he now hopes to move on from the incident.

“I made a mistake. I’ll learn from it and move on.”

During the match, which saw Noah’s team Chicago Bulls facing a 96-85 loss to the Miami Heat in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals, Noah, on the bench after a second foul, was caught on camera turning to a heckler in the audience and saying “F**k you, f**got.”

Within hours, Noah issued a statement apologizing for the slur, saying “The fan said something to me that I thought was disrespectful, and I got caught up in the moment, and I said some things that I shouldn’t have said. I was frustrated and I don’t mean no disrespect to anybody. I just got caught up.”

At the time, Noah said he fully expected to be fined for the comment.

Monday saw the NBA hand Noah a $50,000 fine for the incident. This is half of the $100,000 Kobe Bryant was fined earlier this year for a gay slur directed at a match official.

With reference to this, Noah told the Chicago Sun-Times: “I didn’t really know what my fine would be. I was just ready to face the consequences and move on and get ready for this game. I don’t want to be a distraction to this team.”

Gay rights group GLAAD praised Joakim Noah for his near-immediate apology and also the fact that the NBA took such swift action, writing on the GLAAD blog, “We are at a different place in time here than we were even a year or two ago. The NBA is actively promoting a message of acceptance and inclusion – not because incidents like these are bad PR, but because that’s simply what the game stands for.”

Unlike Joakim Noah, Kobe Bryant is currently appealing his fine, with $100,000 being the most ever levied by the NBA for a homophobic remark.

Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution License, with thanks to Keith Allison.


Mary T.
Mary T4 years ago

Mr Noah did a good thing by accepting the fine but he should have been a better person by not replying back to the heckler

Mary L.
Mary L6 years ago

I'm glad he stood up and said he was wrong. It's a mature thing to do. Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Kersi Patel
Kersi Patel6 years ago

Good boy Noah - thats the spirit !!!!!!!

Scott H.
Scott H6 years ago

@ Ms. Shakespeare - "He started it!" is not a legal defense. It doesn't work when Little Timmy steals Little Tammy's toy dinosaur, it certainly wouldn't hold up in a court of law.

Jane H.
Jane H6 years ago

This is just simply good news! And thank you for it.

Susan B.
Susan Barnett6 years ago

Um...Marilyn L., before you start making comments about Mr. Noah's grammar, perhaps you should brush up on your writing skills. I counted at least 15 errors in spelling, punctuation and sentence construction in your post.

Tricia Hamilton
Tricia Hamilton6 years ago

Thanks Noah,
My father used to call people eggplants and I didn't know what it meant until I was 24. Tricia

Brian P.
.6 years ago

Nice to see someone taking responsibility for their actions and really owning it without trying to backpedal out of it for a change...actions have consequences...something a lot of ignorant people like Colt C. seem to forget before they flap their lips.

Bad behavior exists because it is tolerated - my challenge to everyone is to call bullshit when you smell it! Don't be afraid to challenge the status quo and stand up for real humanity!

Marilyn L.
Marilyn L6 years ago

Beside Mr. Noah being a jerk in the heat moment I have a question.

What is it about athletes, that have gone to college, probably on a scholarship and they come out not being able to speak correct english. "...and I don't mean no disrespect to anybody", this is typical how they speak. Did they learn nothing in college. Mr. Noah had 3 years at the University of Flordia. Maybe Universities would do better giving these scholarships to people who really want an education not just a springboard to the pros.

Empress Ginger
Ginger Strivelli6 years ago

Wonder what he'd be fined had he called someone 'fat' oh yeah nothing that is ok...but no racist, sexist, ageist, or homophobic (notice it's phobia not ism) comments are allowed. Interesting.