The NBA has fined Chicago Bulls forward Joakim Noah $50,000 for using a derogatory and offensive term from the bench during the first quarter of the Bulls’ 96-85 loss to the Miami Heat last night in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
It was the gay slur, the homophobic f-word. You know which one, and it was directed at a Miami Heat fan who was taunting him. Not a good time to be using that word. What with the Phoenix Suns CEO coming out last week and all.
“I think that with the comment to the fan, I just want to apologize about that. I had just picked up my second foul. I was frustrated,” Noah told the media Monday.
“He said something that was disrespectful towards me, and I lost my cool. I’m not ?? people who know me know I’m an open?minded guy. I’m not here to hurt anybody’s feelings. I’m just here to, you know, help win a basketball game. I’m not ?? people who know me know I’m an open?minded guy. I’m not here to hurt anybody’s feelings.”
His fine is half as much money as Kobe Bryant (who committed the same exact act) because Bryant used the word on a referee, not a fan.
In terms of commentary on this issue, see my piece on Bryant. Same observations, thoughts, feelings apply to Noah.
Michael Jordan, the superstar of NBA superstars, was known to drop a few f-bombs (and I’m not talking about the word that rhymes with truck) in practice during his days with the Chicago Bulls (but was never caught publicly) As do plenty of other NBA players, ex-players and their fans. Experts on diversity and tolerance have expressed to the media their belief that this instance further signifies that “locker room talk” is “the last bastion of homophobia in this country.”
Even if the fan “started it” or not, he knows it’s on him to be a bigger and better man.
“I’ve been dealing with that for a long time,” Noah said.
“But sometimes fans say things that are a little bit overboard. But still, it’s on us not to react. If you react, they win. And I did. So, you know, it was a bad decision on my part, and I’m going to face some pretty severe consequences.”
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