Los Angeles, CA —
The NBA has fined Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant $100,000 for an anti-gay comment caught on camera during Tuesday nights game against the San Antonio Spurs.
"Kobe Bryant's comment during last night's game was offensive and inexcusable," NBA Commissioner David Stern said in a statement. "While I'm fully aware that basketball is an emotional game, such a distasteful term should never be tolerated. Accordingly, I have fined Kobe $100,000. 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."
TNT cameras caught Bryant apparently calling referee Bennie Adams a f***ing f***ot. Announcer Steve Kerr noticed, and announced on the air TNT "might want to take the camera off him right now, for the children watching."
The video has been posted at TMZ.com.
Bryant's actions drew widespread criticism. The Human Rights Campaign, a national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, called his actions a "disgrace." OutSports.com, an LGBT sports website, called for a suspension of Bryant.
Bryant issued the following statement on Wednesday: "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."
HRC said Bryant's statement did not go far enough as a formal apology and the group commended the NBA's action: "We hope such swift and decisive action will send a strong and universal message that this kind of hateful outburst is simply inexcusable no matter what the context."