The NBA announced on Friday it would
work with gay media watchdog group GLAAD after Los Angeles Lakers
shooting guard Kobe Bryant slurred referee Bennie Adams.
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against
Defamation (GLAAD) was one of the first groups to call on Bryant to
Bryant apologized on Wednesday and
again on Friday for a nationally televised outburst during Tuesday's
game against the San Antonio Spurs.
The six-foot-six Bryant stormed to the
bench after he received a technical foul from referee Bennie Adams.
Once seated, an angry Bryant threw a towel and yelled “Bennie …
fucking faggot.” The incident was broadcast on TNT.
NBA Commissioner David Stern fined the
five-time NBA champion $100,00 for the insult.
“What happened in Tuesday night's
game is not representative of what the Lakers stand for,” Lakers
spokesman John Black said in a statement. “We want to reaffirm our
commitment to all our fans and our appreciation for the support we
received from all segments of society.”
“We also understand the importance of
positive messages in helping us convey this. We appreciate the input
we've received from GLAAD the past two days and will look forward to
working with them on ways to help educate ourselves and our fans, and
to help keep language like this out of the game.”
GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios called
the partnership an “opportunity to build support for our community
and educate fans of Kobe Bryant, the Los Angeles Lakers, and the NBA
about the use of such words.”
On Friday, Bryant again apologized for
his outburst but added that he would appeal the fine.
“It was just stupid and ignorant,”
Bryant said during an appearance on The Dan Patrick Show. “In
this situation, seeing how many people were affected, it helps you
understand the weight that comes from that word. That's why it's
very important for me to communicate how sorry I am to use the word.”