Kobe Bryant Gay Slur – NBA BasketballThursday, April 14, 2011 21:36
The sad case of Kobe Bryant’s gay slur… and the even more sad case of the mixed response to it.
Just as I start not to dislike Kobe Bryant, he does something incredibly stupid. I had honestly thought the immaturity and of his early years was behind him, that same immaturity that fueled the selfishness that broke up the Kobe-Shaq championship teams.
Kobe’s homophobic slur was one thing. Don’t get me wrong, it was bad and something that he should not have said. But his apology — well, it wasn’t one. Kobe never actually apologized. “The words expressed do not reflect my feelings” does not translate to “I apologize”, regardless of whether the statement is true or not.
Listen, we all say things from time to time which we do not truly mean. They may not be slurs, but, for example, anything said to hurt a loved one in the heat of argument is likely to be regretted later.
The fact that Kobe did not actually apologize says to me that he still does not think he said anything wrong, and that is bothersome. Even if his so-called apology is indeed fact.
The second point that really bothers me about this situation is the mixed public response. To be fair, I live in Los Angeles; local response is skewed to “Kobe Bryant can do no wrong”. I would love to see what people’s thoughts were elsewhere. However, I have read comments on many article which ostensibly come from around the country.
Many people are of the mind that this is no big deal and that Kobe’s $100,000 fine levied by David Stern is too high. If Kobe had used a Jewish slur, would people be so cavalier? Absolutely not. And if this had been a white person using the N-word, the public uproar would have been off the charts.
The only people who think that Kobe’s use of a gay slur is trite (and/or his fine too much) are those bigots who think homophobia is a-okay or those over-the-top Kobe-whore fans who would still give Bryant a free pass if he raped a woman live on television for the entire world to see.
This criticism is not levied at Kobe Bryant fans alone; apologists for any player just need to look past their fandom at the true, painful heart of the matter. There is hope for them. As for the bigots, their ignorance-induced blindness sadly requires a lot more in the way of education.
And as for Kobe? Classless to the last.
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