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NBA fines Kobe Bryant $100,000 for anti-gay slur caught by cameras

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Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant was fined $100,000 on Wednesday by the NBA for using a homophobic slur during Tuesday night’s game against the San Antonio Spurs, the Associated Press reports. Bryant became upset after being whistled for a technical foul by referee Bennie Adams; TNT cameras followed him as he walked over to the Lakers’ bench, punched his chair, took a seat, and threw a towel before calling for the referee’s attention and uttering “F—ing f—-t!”

“Kobe Bryant’s comment during last night’s game was offensive and inexcusable,” NBA Commissioner David Stern said in a statement after gay-rights organizations condemned the outburst. “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 NBA know that insensitive or derogatory comments are not acceptable and have no place in our game or society.”

Earlier Wednesday, the 13-time All-Star and five-time champion released this 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.”