Kobe apologizes again for using slur
Lakers star Kobe Bryant said he was truly sorry Friday for yelling an anti-gay slur at NBA referee Bennie Adams during Tuesday night's game.
On Wednesday, the day after he was caught on camera yelling "f***ing f****t" at Adams after being assessed a technical foul, Bryant said his words did not reflect his true feelings toward homosexuals, but did not apologize explicitly.
As a guest on "The Dan Patrick Show" on Friday, the five-time NBA champion called his comments "stupid and ignorant" and continued to express remorse.
"In this situation, seeing how many people were affected, it helps you understand the weight that comes from that word," Bryant said. "That's why it's very important for me to communicate how sorry I am to use the word."
Bryant, who was fined $100,000 by NBA commissioner David Stern for the outburst, said he hopes he can influence people to stop using the offensive word.
"It's about getting that message out there man, to kill that word," he said. "Just don't use it, just don't use it. And hopefully others can learn from the situation that occurred and just knock that word out completely."
Bryant said on the show that he wanted to contact Adams to apologize, but was not sure on whether NBA rules allow a player to contact a referee off the court. Bryant said even though he is officially appealing the NBA's fine, he does not plan to actually fight it.
"The commissioner did a great job," Bryant said.
Meantime, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) announced Friday that it will be working with the Lakers and the NBA to spread awareness about anti-gay slurs and bullying, the LA Times reported.
"In light of this slur, there is a real opportunity to build support for our community and educate fans of Kobe Bryant, the Los Angeles Lakers, and the NBA about the use of such words," said Jarrett Barrios, president of the advocacy group.
"The Los Angeles Lakers have taken a positive step and we look forward to working with them to create messages from players and coaches that combat bullying. We also suggested and will continue to advocate for zero tolerance policies for anti-gay slurs at home games."
The Yankees adopted a similar policy last year after video surfaced showing some fans yelling an offensive version of the "YMCA" song at opposing fans.
"What happened in Tuesday night's game is not representative of what the Lakers stand for," said Lakers spokesman John Black in GLAAD's statement.
"We want to reaffirm our commitment to all our fans and our appreciation for the support we receive from all segments of society. We also understand the importance of positive messages in helping us convey this. We appreciate the input we've received from GLAAD the past two days and will look forward to working with them on ways to help educate ourselves and our fans, and to help keep language like this out of our game."
The Lakers begin their NBA title defense Sunday against the Hornets at Staples Center.