GLAAD and the NBA today announced a joint effort to quell homophobia in professional basketball. This new partnership arises out of an incident in which Los Angeles Laker star Kobe Bryant was captured by network television as he called a referee a “fucking faggot.” Bryant is appealing the $100K fine imposed by the NBA for his outburst. Via press release:
“In light of this slur, there is a real opportunity to build support for our community and educate fans of Kobe Bryant, the Los Angeles Lakers, and the NBA about the use of such words,” said GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios. “The Los Angeles Lakers have taken a positive step and we look forward to working with them to create messages from players and coaches that combat bullying. We also suggested and will continue to advocate for zero tolerance policies for anti-gay slurs at home games, similar to what the New York Yankees adopted last year.” In addition to the LA Lakers, NBA executives have agreed to meet with GLAAD to discuss ways to send a message about the power of such words to the league’s audience, many of whom are young people, parents or educators.
Lakers spokesman John Black: “We appreciate the input we’ve received from GLAAD the past two days and will look forward to working with them on ways to help educate ourselves and our fans, and to help keep language like this out of our game.”