The National Basketball Association on Tuesday announced it has fined New York Knicks star Amar'e Stoudemire $50,000 for directing a gay slur at a fan via Twitter this weekend. On Sunday, the sports blog Deadspin reported that a fan tweeted at Amar'e that he needed to "come back a lot stronger and quicker to make up for this past season" and called him a "deadasss" (sic) to which Stoudamire responded "F*ck you. I don't have to do any thing f*g."
Later that night, Stoudamire tweeted an apology to that same fan, telling him "I apologize for what I said earlier. I just got off the plane and had time to think about it. Sorry bro!! No excuses. Won't happen again."
Today, the NBA announced it would fine Stoudamire for his use of the anti-gay slur, the same fine levied against Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah for directing the same slur towards a fan during a game last year. The NBA's statement today states that Stoudamire has been fined for "using offensive and derogatory language" but the fine gives teeth to the statement made by NBA Commissioner David Stern after Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant directed that slur at a referee last April:
"Everyone associated with the NBA know(s) that insensitive or derogatory comments are not acceptable and have no place in our game or society.”
The NBA's quick action and Stoudamire's even quicker apology show that the league is serious about this matter. GLAAD, along with our partners from Athlete Ally, will meet with executives at the NBA and WNBA in the near future to discuss the possibility of providing Ally Training to all players in both leagues. Slurs like this have no place in any sport, and discriminatory language goes against what it means to be a true champion.