AirTalk for April 14, 2011

Kobe Bryant’s anti-gay offensive foul

Mercer 17000

Harry How/Getty Images

Kobe Bryant celebrates his basket during a win.

This year’s NBA season has provided no shortage of drama. Tuesday night, during the second-to-last regular season Lakers game against the San Antonio Spurs, Lakers guard Kobe Bryant added to that drama by throwing a tantrum after being called for a technical foul. As Bryant returned to the bench the superstar pushed a chair and muttered an anti-gay slur directed at referee Bennie Adams. Blue language is endemic in professional sports and the NBA has let similar incidents slide without fines in the past. But this time, the NBA slapped Bryant with a $100,000 fine. NBA Commissioner David Stern stated that Bryant’s actions were "offensive and inexcusable.” Bryant has been contrite in the wake of the incident stating that his comment was made during the heat of the game and "should not be taken literally.” Despite Bryant’s apology, gay rights groups have lambasted him over the comment. What do Bryant’s actions say about off-the-cuff comments? Could any of your daily language be considered offensive if you were constantly in the public eye?


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