Los Angeles, CA, April 13, 2011 – The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), the nation's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy and anti-defamation organization, today applauded the NBA for its decision to fine Los Angeles Lakers player Kobe Bryant for anti-gay comments made during Tuesday night's game.
"The NBA has sent a clear message to sports fans everywhere that anti-gay slurs have no place in the game," said GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios. "When such a prolific cultural institution like the NBA speaks out against hateful words, we are reminded that fair-minded Americans are siding with equality for all. This decision will serve as an important precedent that will help ensure a safer, more inclusive environment for fans and players everywhere, and we look forward to continuing our dialogue with the NBA."
NBA Commissioner David Stern issued the following statement today after GLAAD and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) spoke out against Bryant's remarks and contacted NBA officials:
"Kobe Bryant's comment during last night's game was offensive and inexcusable. While I'm fully aware that basketball is an emotional game, such a distasteful term should never be tolerated. Accordingly, I have fined Kobe $100,000. Kobe and everyone associated with the NBA know that insensitive or derogatory comments are not acceptable and have no place in our game or society."
Recently, GLAAD worked with the New York Yankees and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) to address issues of homophobia in sports. After working with GLAAD, the New York Yankees adopted a new policy that strictly prohibits anti-gay slurs in Yankee Stadium.
For more information about GLAAD's work with the WWE, visit: http://glaadblog.org/2011/03/17/wwe-to-partner-with-glaad-on-anti-bullying-messages/
For more information about GLAAD's work with the New York Yankees, visit: http://glaadblog.org/2010/10/14/new-york-yankees-to-take-action-against-homophobic-fans/