Thursday, April 14, 2011

Kobe Bryant fined $100,000 for homophobic slur.

As I'm sure everyone knows by now, got upset about a call during April 12th's Lakers-Spurs game and was shown on camera on the bench saying "f*cking f*ggot." 

GLAAD had this to say:
"Hopefully Mr. Bryant will recognize that as a person with such fame and influence, the use of such language not only offends millions of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) people around the world, but also perpetuates a culture of discrimination and hate that all of us, most notably Mr. Bryant, should be working to eradicate."

David Stern had this to say in response to the incident: 
"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."

GLAAD can be upset all they want. Kobe was wrong- he said something derogatory and hateful. But you know what, David Stern? I think you're full of crap on this one (what a surprise). NBA players are regularly candidly caught on camera using profanity. It happens dozens of times over the course of every game, because like David Stern pointed out in his statement, it's an emotional game. There's no doubt about it: 
Kobe was wrong- but he didn't know he was on camera at the time. I couldn't find a video of it to embed here, but it's widely available on the internet. If you watch it, Marv Albert even says the camera should be taken off of him because he was upset and swearing. It would be one thing if Kobe was being interviewed post game and made the conscious decision to use the phrase on live TV. But he didn't. He said it in a moment of anger that was unfortunately caught on camera and broadcast to millions. Whoever was working the camera at that instant knew that they would be catching Kobe swearing and they made a conscience decision to pan the camera on to him- probably because they wanted to get a cheap shot of Kobe throwing a temper tantrum. 
 I don't see players being hung out to dry when they use the "N-Word" or "b*tch," and both of those are hurtful, emotionally charged words, similar to "f*ggot." In an ideal world, the NBA would take a zero tolerance stance on the use of profanity and hate speech, but that's impossible. What the NBA can do is try to minimize the extent to which the use of profanity is broadcast to its viewers at home, and they could do this by encouraging cameramen to avoid purposefully catching players swearing on camera for cheap entertainment value. 

1 comment:

  1. you know what? the language used by kobe was disgusting, you're right. but i agree that the cameraman was probably fishing. i don't know if it's possible for the nba to advise cameramen not to do that as you suggested, but i actually kind of agree that kobe shouldn't be catching so much heat which surprises me because i can't stand the guy.