Kobe Bryant needs to watch Batman Begins. Hopefully not for the first time. The lesson of that movie is that it’s not who you think you are inside, but your actions that define you. And when Kobe dropped an F bomb followed by a homophobic slur, that action defined him for the roughly 10% of basketball fans that are homosexuals. It defined him as a backwards, insensitive jerk. A stretch for a guy who had to fight off rape charges, I know.
The NBA front office took notice. They slapped Kobe with a $100,000 fine. No word yet on the karats and setting that equals that much cash, but it’ll be a pretty ring he sends their way I’m sure.
A couple of things to think about when digesting this news. If the TNT camera was not zoomed directly in on Kobe’s face, and only Kobe’s face (there was literally nothing else in the shot) none of this would have happened. The F-slur probably gets dropped 20 per game. Second, Kobe made a sincere (sounding?) apology today. Both those things are mitigating factors. They’re not excuses. Heck, I haven’t dropped an f-slur since I learned better in my freshman year of college (don’t give me that look, I went to an all boys Catholic high school – you try recovering from that, tough guy). Same goes with a n-bomb. Which brings me back to the apology. I have no doubt that Kobe is in fact NOT a homophobe. He’s a man of the world, well traveled, experienced, etc – I have no doubt he even has gay friends. But like the n-bomb, we have to come to accept that the f-slur is just a bad word. Or at least we should.
Bottom line, shelve the word. Unless you’re a Brit and looking for a smoke, it’s just not cool.