John Amaechi isn't happy with Kobe
Bryant's halfhearted apology for slurring referee Bennie Adams with an
The Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard
yelled “fucking faggot” at Adams after the referee called a
technical foul against Bryant during Tuesday night's game against the
San Antonio Spurs.
NBA Commissioner David Stern fined the
five-time NBA champion $100,000 for the insult.
Bryant apologized on Wednesday and
again on Friday, but added that he would appeal the fine.
“What I said last night should not be
take literally,” Bryant said in a statement on Wednesday. “My
actions were out of frustration during the heat of the game, period.”
Amaechi, who came out gay in 2007 after
retiring from the NBA, said he did not believe Bryant is any more
homophobic than the average person, but added that his apology wasn't
“I don't think Kobe Bryant is some
vicious homophobe, but I do think he made a mistake and has sounded
more like a squirming politician than a national hero since the
incident came to light,” Amaechi
wrote in an op-ed published in the New York Times.
“When you know that people hang on
your every word, you should take more responsibility when the wrong
words spill out in anger. When you understand that people treat you
like a god, you should endeavor to be more benevolent when you exceed
expectations and more contrite when you let people down.”
“Kobe, stop fighting the fine,” he
added. “Use that money and your influence to set a new tone that
tells sports fans, boys, men and the society that looks up to you
that the word you said in anger is not OK, not ever.”
On Friday, the
NBA announced it would partner with gay media watchdog group GLAAD.