Indiana Pacer, Roy Hibbert (pictured), is apparently oblivious to the hardline that is being taken by sports teams against homophobic language.
The All-Star center was fined $75,000 by the NBA for “using inappropriate and vulgar language” for his remarks during a post-game press conference after his team’s victory over the Miami Heat Saturday night in game six.
Hibbert, who scored 24-points and pulled down 11-rebounds, used the “no-homo” slur as a joke following a question about defending the Heat’s LeBron James. The seven-foot-two player then called the media “motherf*ckas” after responding to a question about his less than stellar finish in the “Defensive Player of the Year” voting.
The baller issued an apology on Sunday morning, reports ESPN:
“I am apologizing for insensitive remarks made during the post game press conference after our victory over Miami Saturday night,” the statement read. “They were disrespectful and offensive and not a reflection of my personal views. I used a slang term that is not appropriate in any setting, private or public, and the language I used definitely has no place in a public forum, especially over live television. I apologize to those who I have offended, to our fans and to the Pacers’ organization.”
Hibbert also reach out to Washington Wizards player, Jason Collins, via Twitter. Collins went public with his homosexuality last month.
Roy Hibbert ✔@Hoya2aPacer
@jasoncollins34 hey can I get a follow. Would like to discuss something’s with you.
NBA commissioner David Stern felt the apology was not enough, however. “While Roy has issued an apology, which is no doubt sincere, a fine is necessary to reinforce that such offensive comments will not be tolerated by the NBA,” Stern told ESPN.
Athelete Ally, an organization advocating for the end of homophobia in sports, also released a statement saying, “We are disappointed by Hibbert’s comments, as that kind of language is disrespectful, has no place in sports and is antithetical to the N.B.A.’s policies.”
What does the Pacer’s coach, Frank Vogel, have to say about his player? He told reporters on Sunday that Hibbert is, “not that person and that it was a mistake. It’s simple. I support him. He knows he’s wrong. I didn’t have to tell him that and we all love and support him. Obviously, he made a great mistake. He feels horribly about it. I told him, basically, that we’ve got to move on from it.”
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