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LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) — Kobe Bryant has been fined $100,000 by the NBA for using a derogatory gay term in frustration over a referee’s call.
NBA Commissioner David Stern announced the disciplinary action Wednesday, saying the distasteful term used by Bryant should never be tolerated.
Video replay of the incident appeared to show Bryant using the slur when he couldn’t get Bennie Adams’ attention as he came to the bench after getting hit with a technical foul during the Lakers’ 102-93 victory over the San Antonio Spurs.
Bryant issued the following statement Wednesday in response:
“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.”
The Human Rights Campaign, which describes itself as the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, criticized Bryant.
“Hopefully Mr. Bryant will recognize that as a person with such fame and influence, the use of such language not only offends millions of LGBT people around the world, but also perpetrates a culture of discrimination and hate that all of us, most notably Mr. Bryant, should be working to eradicate.
The Lakers close their season Wednesday night at Sacramento.
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