The New York Times reports that LA Lakers basketball star Kobe Bryant will be fined $100,000 for apparently hurling an antigay slur at a referee during the heated playoff game against the San Antonio Spurs, which was broadcast live.
On Wednesday, Bryant released a statement: "What I said last night should not be taken literally. 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."
The Times reported, however, that NBA Commissioner David Stern took the incident serious. "Kobe Bryant's comment during last night's game was offensive and inexcusable,'' Stern said in a statement. "While I'm fully aware that basketball is an emotional game, such a distasteful term should never be tolerated....Kobe and everyone associated with the N.B.A. know that insensitive or derogatory comments are not acceptable and have no place in our game or society."
Interestingly, in this news clip, a sports commentator said that such insults happen routinely. He also predicted that the fine, if any, would be modest, which $100,000 to millionaire Kobe Bryant may well be: