Like many NBA stars, Joakim Noah likely grew up wanting to emulate Kobe Bryant. But not like this.
In a scenario reminiscent of Kobe's gay slur against a referee last month, the Bulls power forward was caught on camera last night referring to a fan as a "fagot." He's since apologized, saying he got "caught up" in the moment, but GLADD thinks there's larger problem at hand in the league.
"Last month the NBA sent an important message about how such slurs fuel a climate of intolerance and are unacceptable," President Jarrett Barrios told TMZ. "These anti-gay remarks, coming so soon after, demonstrate how much needs to be done.”
Bryant was fined $100,000 for his insult and Barrios is confident something will be done about Noah, as well. He says:
“Noah's apology is a start. We are confident that the NBA will now take disciplinary measures and hasten its work with us to tell all players that there is no place for anti-gay words and attitudes in the game.”
Meanwhile, Noah has problems on the court, as well: the Bulls are in a 2-1 Eastern Conference Championship hole, after Chris Bosh burned the defender for 34 points yesterday in a 96-85 Heat victory.
UPDATE: Noah has been fined $50,000 by the NBA.