NBA Fines Roy Hibbert $75,000 for Homophobic Slur (Videos)
Indiana Pacers’ center Roy Hibbert has had what some people might call a “coming out party” during the 2013 NBA Playoffs. Though he’s been a fan-favorite in Indianapolis for several years now, it has taken some remarkable defensive performances in the Eastern Conference Finals against the mighty Miami Heat to get the attention of the national media. Unfortunately, once Hibbert had the attention of the national media, it only took him a week or so to stick his foot in his mouth.
On Saturday night, after the Pacers beat the Heat to force a climactic Game 7, Roy Hibbert was sitting at the post-game media table taking questions from reporters when he made a couple of ill-advised comments.
First, when asked how he felt about not being recognized as one of the best defensive players in the NBA this season, he called the members of the media a bunch of “motherf**kers.” Take a look:
Now, that really wasn’t so bad. I doubt any members of the press felt hurt, and in all likelihood, most of them probably thought it was funny. Being villainized by pro athletes is part of the gig.
However, the other questionable comment from Hibbert actually offended a lot of people, and for good reason. Here it is:
The sad thing is, Hibbert actually could have made a very similar joke without being offensive at all. The only thing he would have had to leave out is the word “homo.” As it is, the whole thing came off as a case of very bad judgment.
Now, to his credit, it didn’t take Hibbert long to realize the error of his ways. On Sunday he reached out to Jason Collins on Twitter—you know, because Collins is gay. And I guess when you offend all gay people, the best thing to do is personally apologize to the most famous one you know. After that, Hibbert released the following official public apology:
I am apologizing for insensitive remarks made during the postgame press conference after our victory over Miami Saturday night. 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. I sincerely have deep regret over my choice of words last night.
That’s a pretty decent apology, if you ask me. However, it will definitely take a lot more effort on Hibbert’s part to completely repair his image.
In any case, the NBA has also taken actions to make it clear that such comments are unacceptable. Yesterday they announced Hibbert would be fined $75,000 for his post-game remarks.
One would hope that at least $74,000 of that is for the “no homo” comment.