WASHINGTON - Last night during Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals, Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah called a heckling fan a "f***ing f***ot" after receiving his second foul of the night. The TNT cameras caught the slur.
"We need to get to a point where you don't use an anti-gay slur to respond to events," said Joe Solmonese, President of the Human Rights Campaign. "It's just plain unacceptable. At a time when the NBA and a growing number of pro-athletes are publicly standing up for equality, it's too bad Mr. Noah worked against their efforts last night. That said, we're pleased he quickly realized the error of his ways and apologized."
ESPN is reporting that Noah said, "A fan said something and I said something back. I apologize. I don't know what's going to happen. But I got caught up. I don't mean no disrespect to anybody. I just got caught up."
The LA Lakers' Kobe Bryant hurled the same anti-gay remark at a referee during a game last month. Bryant immediately and graciously apologized.
This morning the Human Rights Campaign released a video of NBA star Steve Nash of the Phoenix Suns publicly supporting marriage equality in New York. NHL forward Sean Avery did the same last week. The videos can be viewed at www.hrc.org/NY4marriage.
The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.
To make a general inquiry, please visit our contact page. Members of the media can reach our press office at: (202) 572-8968 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.