Joakim Noah fined $50K for using a gay slur during Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals. The comment was directed towards fan while Noah was on the bench. Kobe Bryant was fined more in early April because Bryant’s comment was directed at a league official, a spokesman tells CBSSports.com
Posted by Matt Moore
All the talk today, aside from wondering where in the red blazes Derrick Rose‘s offense has gone and if anyone that’s GM of the Blazers can last more than a season, has been about Joakim Noah’s homosexual slur used towards a fan Sunday night. The comment came in retaliation for repeated verbal abuse, and Noah’s remark was caught on video. And, just as the reaction was swift and strong from both the public and the league in the case of Kobe Bryant’s incident, so too the outcry was quick towards Noah’s Heat-of-the-moment utterance. Now the league has followed suit.
The NBA today fined Noah $50,000 for the use of the homosexual slur. Kobe Bryant was fined $100,000 for his remark towards an official in early April. A league spokesman confirmed to CBSSports.com that the differential in the fines was: “Kobe’s fine included discipline for verbal abuse of a game official.”
Noah apologized Monday morning for the remark saying he would “accept the consequences.” Noah met with officials Monday to discuss the incident. Certainly the fact that Noah’s comment occurred on national television during the second-most-watched NBA game in cable history had something to do with the attention drawn, but it’s good to see the league responding quickly and fairly to both incidents. Some will question why Noah’s fine was less, and if abusing a fan is any less harmful than abusing an official, but in reality, the extra money fined Bryant was for a separate issue. It was in part for the using the term, and in part for the abuse of an official.
With Noah having apologized, and no doubt seeking the same reparations with public relations as Bryant did in a series of PSA ads against homophobic slurs, the incident should move behind the Bulls. Now they just have to worry about being in a 2-1 hole going into Tuesday’s game in Miami.