Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah could find himself in trouble with the NBA after he appeared to yell a gay slur at a fan during Sunday night’s Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals in Miami, the Florida Sun-Sentinel reported.
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An angered Noah headed to the bench in the first quarter after picking up his second foul against the Heat and can be seen on TNT cameras abusing a fan in the crowd.
In the footage, in which viewers can read his lips but not hear the audio, Noah appears to say, "(expletive) you, (expletive)."
After the game, which the Heat won 96-85 to take a 2-1 series lead, Noah apologized for saying "something," although he did not clarify what.
"I apologize," Noah said. "The fan said something to me that I thought was disrespectful, and I got caught up in the moment, and I said something that I shouldn’t have said. I was frustrated and I don’t mean no disrespect to anybody. I just got caught up."
Asked whether he said he expected to be fined for the comment, Noah said, "I don’t know what’s going to happen."
Last month, Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant was fined $100,000 for yelling "(expletive) (expletive)" at referee Bennie Adams after being assessed a technical foul.
Bryant later said his words did not reflect his true feelings toward homosexuals and apologized, describing the outburst as "stupid and ignorant."