Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant was fined $100,000 by the NBA on Wednesday for a homophobic slur that commissioner David Stern called "offensive and inexcusable."
After receiving a technical foul during Tuesday's game against the San Antonio Spurs, Bryant stormed to the bench, hit his seat before sitting down, threw a towel and then yelled "Bennie!" toward referee Bernie Adams. Bryant then leaned back and muttered a gay slur.
The episode was caught on camera on TNT's national telecast, prompting announcer Steve Kerr to say: "You might wanna take the cameras off of him right now, for the children watching from home."
Bryant issued a statement Wednesday afternoon.As evidenced by the following audio clip, Kobe's only sorry he got caught. He chalks up his outburst to the culture of homophobia in pro sports and the heat of the moment. What an asshole.
"What I said last night should not be taken literally," he said. "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."
On the other hand, the fact that the NBA is taking a stand against homophobia is encouraging.