Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant got whistled for his 15th technical foul of the season in last night’s game against the San Antonio Spurs. What followed was this tirade:
You can clearly see at the :33 mark Kobe yelling at referee Bennie Adams… yelling “Bennie!”… and following it up with an f-bomb and the gay slur.
Emotions are part of the game, and I get that. And chances are the percentage of NBA players who don’t toss that word around freely is probably pretty low. But that doesn’t make it right. The NBA is a business and in today’s world, with today’s technology, there is hardly a moment on the floor that isn’t captured by some camera angle or some microphone.
This is admittedly one of the most uphill battles you can fight. Find me a player that doesn’t swear in frustration on the court. We all do it. So we’ll all find some level of cursing acceptable. But we all know that slurs have no place in today’s world. And at the risk of instigating an NBA version of George Carlin’s “7 Dirty Words”, the NBA does have to find a way to get slurs out of the game.
A Kobe apology and some sort of action from the NBA (a fine works for me) is warranted here as a good first step. This simply cannot slide by without some action being taken or else we will have missed an opportunity to send a good message.