Joakim Noah yells out an anti-gay slur.
Following the recent fining of US basketball star Kobe Bryant for using an anti-gay slur, another player has shouted the same insult at a fan.
Chicago Bulls centre Joakim Noah was caught on camera yelling “fuck you faggot” during a game on Sunday night. He has been fined $50,000 over the incident.
When asked why his fine was not as high as Bryant’s $100,000 penalty for using the same word during a game last month, officials said that Bryant had directed the slur at a referee which incurred a higher fine.
Noah has since apologised, saying: “A fan said something and I said something back. I apologise. I don’t know what’s going to happen. But I got caught up. I don’t mean no disrespect to anybody. I just got caught up.”
“We need to get to a point where you don’t use an anti-gay slur to respond to events,” said Joe Solmonese, President of the Human Rights Campaign.
“It’s just plain unacceptable. At a time when the NBA and a growing number of pro-athletes are publicly standing up for equality, it’s too bad Mr. Noah worked against their efforts last night. That said, we’re pleased he quickly realised the error of his ways and apologised.”