Kobe Bryant Apologizes for Gay Slur
April 13, 2011
Last night in a game against the San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant lashed out at a referee, calling him a “f***ing f***ot” after receiving a technical foul. Tonight, in a pre-game phone call to Human Rights Campaign president Joe Solmonese, Bryant apologized for using the homophobic slur. Bryant expressed understanding and regret for how his words were hurtful and could be used by some to discriminate.
“I applaud Kobe Bryant for his swift apology,” said Solmonese. “We had a very sincere conversation in which he expressed his heartfelt regret for the hurt that his words caused. He told me that it’s never ok to degrade or tease, and that he understands how his words could unfortunately give the wrong impression that this is appropriate conduct. At the end of a difficult day, I applaud Kobe for coming forward and taking responsibility for his actions.”
This morning, HRC condemned the slur and called on the Lakers organization to weigh in on the slur, given both the prominence of Bryant and the influence he wields on and off the court. As the day progressed, NBA Commissioner Stern issued a strong condemnation of Bryant’s action and in an unprecedented move, fined the Lakers’ superstar $100,000.