Los Angeles Lakers: Kobe Bryant Fined for Slur, but There’s a Bigger Issue Here

NBA Commissioner David Stern did not waste any time in levying a fine against Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant for uttering the slur “f**king fa**ot” to a referee during a Tuesday night contest against the San Antonio Spurs.

Bryant suggested he meant no ill-will towards the referee. He was just frustrated and meant no harm.

“What I said last night should not be taken literally," said Bryant on Wednesday. "My actions were out of frustration during the heat of the game, period.”

Bryant added, "The words expressed do not reflect my feelings towards the gay and lesbian communities and were not meant to offend anyone.”

The Human Rights Campaign begs to differ. They feel Bryant’s poor choice of words creates an atmosphere for bigotry to fester, as does the commissioner.

According to ESPNLosAngeles.com, Stern suggested such derogatory statements have no place in sports or society. “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."

President of the Human Rights Campaign Joe Solmonese concurred with Stern’s swift action: "We applaud Commissioner Stern and the NBA for not only fining Bryant but for recognizing that slurs and derogatory comments have no place on the basketball court or in society at large."

Solmonese continued, "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."

Bryant spoke with Solmonese and issued an apology prior to yesterday’s season finale against the Sacramento Kings. 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 okay to degrade or tease, and...

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