Kobe Bryant Fined $100,000 For Gay Slur

Basketball star Kobe Bryant was fined $100,000 by the NBA on Wednesday for an “offensive and inexcusable” homophobia slur at a referee who had just called him for a technical foul.  Bryant apologized for the outburst, saying that it was “out of frustration during the game, period.”  But David Stern, the commissioner of the NBA, had no patience for Bryant’s slur.

“While I’m fully aware that basketball is an emotional game, such a distasteful term should never be tolerated,” he said.  “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.”

Stern received praise from gay-rights activists who had wanted a more complete apology from Bryant.  They were dissatisfied with Bryant’s claim that he had not meant to offend anyone, saying that “this kind of hateful outburst is simply inexcusable no matter what the context.”

“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,” said Jarrett Barrios, president of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. “The LA Lakers have a responsibility to educate their fans about why this word is unacceptable.”

It’s certainly heartening to see that the NBA took such swift action against Bryant; as the New York Times points out, “there is a recent history of people in sports using offensive slurs against gays and being punished for it.”  The fact that the NBA Commissioner made it clear that this kind of “slip-up” is unacceptable shows that the NBA, as an institution, is willing to stand up to this offensive behavior in their players, and expect them to set a better standard.  Let’s hope that fewer professional athletes so blatantly flout this standard in the future.


Photo from Wikimedia Commons.


Annmari Lundin
Annmari Lundin6 years ago

I remember the rape case that involved Kobe Bryant and also that he got off because he is famous and could hire sleazy lawyers and investigators to do character assasination of the victim. Have disliked him ever since that and am not surprised of his latest stunt.
Every athlete from Mike Tyson, Michael Vick and so on, that commit violent crimes, get sent to prison and than are taken back with full priviledges, makes me sick! That sends the message to fans that it doesn't matter what you do, because it's just business as usual after serving your prison sentence.
Society has to put the foot down and make sure this kind of behaviour is stamped out and not rewarded.
I'm finished.

Norma V.
Norma Villarreal7 years ago

I've seen the team's PSA speaking about how words can hurt....Yeah, right! Kobe appealing the $100,000 for his slur sure speaks highly of his character.

JW H.7 years ago

He apologized to the ref (the only one he really owes an apology to) and paid a fine twice that for other similar offences so get off his back. Whatever happened to the right to speak ones mind? Its not like he punched the ref.

Arvin E.
Arvin E.7 years ago

We can alway hope that one day Kobe too will grow up and become a mature person as I keep hopeing our nation will also become a "More perfect Union", of men, women and the planet.

Kathy T.
Kathy T.7 years ago

Kobe should have been gotten rid of when he was accused of raping that girl. A little fine like that says nothing to him. Fire him!!!!!

Suzen R.
Suzen R7 years ago

The fine was too low.

Gloria P.
Gloria Polis7 years ago

HIs behavior hasn't changed over the years. He went to court for raping a girl but got off. He and Vick and Tiger Woods and all the others who make excuses for their behavior should NOT be allowed to continue getting paid MILLIONS of dollars. What kind of example does that set for children...Do what you want and pay a slap-on-the-wrist fine? In other words, you can get away with ANYthing if you have enough money and fame. Stacey's comment hit it right where it lives...just try using the "N" word and making an excuse for it. See how far YOU get.

Loo Samantha
Loo sam7 years ago


John Z.
John Z7 years ago

I used to work in food service at a downtown hotel in Portland OR. The Lakers stay there when they play the local team. One of the room service employees (a pretty young woman) went on national television, around 2003 to tell how she and Kobe played tongue hockey after she went up to his room to deliver his order. Kobe was married at the time (probably still is). You think that was the only time that happened with that one woman? A real class act.

Betsy M.
Betsy M7 years ago

I wonder if he realizes he is supporting the young men tormenting their gay peers in US high schools.