David Stern and the NBA have fined Kobe Bryant $100,000 for calling a referee a “faggot.”
I know there are many of you out there who are upset that I printed that word. And I understand why you would be offended. Just listening to all the outrage that has sprung from this comment you would have thought that Kobe called President Obama a “nigger.”
And now I know I have upset a lot more people by dropping the N-Bomb.
I do that just to make a point. Many people will dismiss an F-Bomb but get incensed over the N-Word. How do I know this? I have plenty of Black friends who routinely drop F-Bombs and think nothing of it. I have been called a faggot plenty of times. For good or bad, it’s a word that many straight guys call each other. In my book, F-Bomb and N-Bombs are both the same. (To be fair, I’ve been called a “Nigga” by my Black friends, too)
Of course Kobe should not have used that word. No matter how angry he was. It’s just bad manners. If you are, arguably, the biggest basketball star in the world, you need to be aware of your image. Even in the heat of the game. But all the phony outrage is getting on my nerves. I’m sure many of the talking heads who are now shocked, (shocked!) at what Kobe has said have used that word many times. It drives me crazy the way so many writers and “personalities” will take up any cause just because.
And that is what upsets me more than what Kobe said. Don’t get me wrong, he shouldn’t have said what he said. But he did. He used that word. I’m sure that LeBron James, Kevin Garnett, Kendrick Perkins and plenty of other professional athletes have used that word. Maybe not on live TV, but they have used it. And I have a confession to make; I’ve used that word, too. Not to denigrate homosexuals, but I have used it. And I’m sure a large percentage of males who are reading this have used that word, too.
Does that make us all bad people? I’m sure there are some people who would say, “Yes, you are a horrible person for uttering that word.”
For his part, Kobe has apologized, saying, “The words expressed do not reflect my feelings towards the gay and lesbian communities and were not meant to offend anyone.”
So where do we go from here? Kobe Haters will add another arrow to their quiver. All the talking heads will feign outrage. And the rest of us will get on with our lives and deal with the prejudices we encounter every day. We will deal with every slight and back-handed compliment we receive on a daily basis and we will get on with our lives.
But at least Kobe has learned his lesson.