LA Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, clearly no stranger to controversy, may find himself in some more hot water after footage was shot of him appearing to sling some homophobic slurs at an NBA referee during a Lakers, San Antonio match last night.
According to TMZ, the incident occurred in the third quarter after Kobe got hit with a technical foul. Clearly angry, Kobe walks to his chair, punches it, and screams at the referee, Bennie Adams. Although you can’t hear the words he uses, he appears to mouth the words, “F**king f**got.” One of the announcers then comments, “You might wanna take the cameras off of him right now, for the children watching.”
It is sadly not the first time recently that homophobia in relation to the NBA has been an issue. When Toronto Raptor guard Leandro Barbosa held the hand of teammate Reggie Evans in celebration of a big win, as the pair headed to the locker-room recently, it didn’t take long for a massive homophobic retaliation to ricochet across the internet. Instinct Magazine notes that the video of the teammates hand holding was uploaded to YouTube, but the ability to post comments had to be disabled after a torrent of juvenile, vile anti-gay messages started to accrue from sports fans.
This outburst from someone who is supposedly a role model for fans the world over, probably isn’t going to do much to promote tolerance and acceptance in sport, so it seems like we still have a very long way to go in regards to changing the ignorance of some people’s thinking.