The NBA has fined Chicago Bulls center
Joakim Noah for hurling an anti-gay slur at a fan.
The league announced on Monday it was
fining the player $50,000 for “using a derogatory and offensive
term from the bench,” the Los Angeles Times reported.
During game 3 of the Eastern Conference
finals against the Miami Heat, the six-foot-eleven, 26-year-old Noah
was called for a personal foul against LeBron James in the opening
quarter. As TNT's cameras remained fixed on the benched player, he
appeared to shout “faggot” at a fan in Miami's American Airlines
Arena. (The video is embedded in the right panel of this page.)
Noah apologized for his comments,
saying he was “frustrated” and “just got caught up.”
Gay rights groups GLAAD and HRC called
on the NBA to take action.
"Noah's apology is a start,"
GLAAD president Jarred Barrios said in a statement. "We are
confident that the NBA will now take disciplinary measures and hasten
its work with us to tell all players that there is no place for
anti-gay words and attitudes in the game."
Noah's fine is half what Los Angeles
Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant was assessed for shouting the same
slur toward referee Bennie Adams last month. Bryant
has said he'll appeal the fine.
“Kobe's fine included discipline for
verbal abuse of a game official,” NBA spokesman Mark Broussard