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Kobe responds to reaction surrounding his gay slur

Apr 13, 2011, 3:13 PM EDT

Los Angeles Lakers v Denver Nuggets Getty Images

Last night, in a moment of frustration after receiving a technical foul, Kobe Bryant uttered a word toward referee Bennie Adams that is a derogatory slang word for homosexuals.

It was caught clearly by television cameras on the nationally broadcast game, creating an instant firestorm debate on twitter that has spilled over into a national debate today. Our own John Krolik did an excellent post on this and the implications earlier today.

Wednesday Kobe released an official statement through the team.

“What I said last night should not be taken literally. 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.”

The league has said it is looking into the incident.

As Krolik said before, the issue is not so much Kobe the person — this same word is tossed around casually in locker rooms across all sports — but the attitude around sports and in society in general that tolerates it. Maybe it is just a word, but it is a word with serious baggage and implications.

Kobe is not the good guy in this. There is no good guy. But as with most changes in society is is about small steps forward on big issues. While it wasn’t Kobe’s intention, maybe this will help people — particularly those inside sports — realize the word is a form of bigotry and its use should not be tolerated (not to mention the attitude behind it). Then something good can come of it.

  1. genericcommenter - Apr 13, 2011 at 3:27 PM

    Over on your Hardballtalk baseball site, a regular commenter said that the ump was justified in calling Roberto Alomar a gay slur because it was “known inside baseball” that he “was one.” Sadly, much of society approaches the issue that way or is casual about it, at best.

  2. rapmusicmademedoit - Apr 13, 2011 at 5:24 PM

    He was wrong to use the slur and the sports shows will have a ball about this for a few weeks,the NBA will drop a fine on him and the Gay and Lesbian community will suggest he do a few commercials and drop by a few schools and spread the word not to be homophobic.The man made a mistake,learn to forgive.

  3. thestudiokida - Apr 13, 2011 at 5:48 PM

    THIS IS THE STUPIDEST SH** I’VE EVER HEARD. Kobe has never been known to use clean language even when he’s not upset. Jesus everybody shutup about it. Nobody cares about gay people and the fact that they think this is about them shows how inflated their egos are. Get over yourselves.

    • thestudiokida - Apr 13, 2011 at 5:49 PM

      I’m sorry it’s not that gay people have big egos, it’s more narcissism and sense of entitlement. Again, get over yourself. This world wasn’t made for you any more than it was for me.

      • 00maltliquor - Apr 14, 2011 at 1:20 AM

        Well said

  4. bringdanoisemik1 - Apr 13, 2011 at 11:17 PM

    Who cares what he said, those reporters are just looking for something to say about anyone with some fame. It’s unbelievable what the reporter first wrote about this, I don’t know how they can live with themselves being super gossipers! Their soul must feel dirty for having an evil ear and eye! Just messing with famous people’s lives, it’s no wonder they snap and check these reporters and well with dumb laws given to these reporters, they end up more mixed up in the gossip. Some laws need to change and respect the privacy of all people! People need to change also and quit being gossipers themselves!

    Anyway I’m sure he didn’t mean it like that, many of us say words sometimes as part of our slang and just what we grew up around. Just until recently that the gay and lesbian community grew (for some odd reason) is when the word became sensitive, and you have to understand that this community must be super sensitive that they just have to be with their same sex.

    Kobe is like most of us and not a preppy dude all proper with his upbringing going to a paid Christian or Private school, I don’t know for sure but I highly doubt it. He’s a really good basketball player, a decent person most of the time just like most of us. All of you being negative about this, you sports enthusiasts tell me you don’t get hyped up and get mad sometimes at games or even your youths games? You can’t judge someone just for slipping a negative word sometimes while getting frustrated at a game because you do it too! Leave the dude alone and get back and focus on your own life and quit being gossipers!

  5. mk2323 - Apr 14, 2011 at 2:04 AM

    The person who is a “fu#king f$g” is Kobe. Hope he enjoys watching Lebron and co. hoist the o’brien in June.

  6. thefaceofreality - Apr 14, 2011 at 3:45 AM

    Wow seriously GET OVER ITT!? I personally have nothing against the Gay and Lesbian community itself, but the Gay rights need to F****** kick it, he didn’t call him that based on his sexual orientation its a basketball game what you want him to say when his mad “what lovely moment that I just got four fouls because of an amazing referee”?. I’m sorry this was just a pointless reason for Kobe to be fined 100k.

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