Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Kobe Shows Support For The LGBT Community


Allow me to go on the record in saying that I have been a long time Kobe fan. Through the complaining, tattling, alleged rape (I genuinely don't think he raped anyone...), and every other problematic personal issue that he as carried, I've always stuck to my guns in supporting the Lower Merion product.

And yet this time I can't really cosign his behavior.

Take a look:


Did you catch it? Kobe just called referee Bennie Adams a "fucking faggot."*

I often find myself annoyed with much of the (overly)political correctness of our society, but there's really no excuse for this sort of language. Period. And, trust me, I've heard every excuse in the book:

"He didn't mean it like that!"

"He wasn't using it against anyone gay!"

"That's just a word we use! It's like calling someone a bitch!"

These excuses make me laugh for several reasons. First and foremost, allow me to say that I have close friends that still use the term "faggot" or even "gay" in a pejorative manner. So I'm not some progressive leftist judging atop my soapbox. It is what it is.

But let's examine this closer.

These terms, used to describe members of the gay community are being connected to either:

a.) any sort of negative behavior

b.) any sort of feminine behavior

Whether directed towards someone of the gay community or not, the correlation exists that someone who is a "faggot" or "gay" is either wrong or wholly effeminate, both of which are disparagingly used towards another male.

If you don't think that's a big deal, imagine if the term "nigger" was applied to anything lazy or stupid. Imagine if Dirk had called even a white referee a "fucking nigger." Think about how well that would go over.

It wouldn't.

And yet, I still see people attempting to justify his actions.

At the very end of the day, I truly believe that Kobe used the term in that figurative way that a fth grade would regarding a particularly unfair homework assignment or a friend who got out of line.


So is Kobe Bryant homophobic?

I can't honestly answer that. But having spent a fair amount of time in Los Angeles, it's pretty difficult to be so in a diverse city such as that.

This isn't necessarily the actions of a bigot. Kobe Bryant isn't Tim Hardaway.

I do think though that Kobe Bryant is (as Red Forman would so accurately articulate it) a dumbass.

He is an idiot for the simple fact that he should have known better. If he had called Adams a "bitch," despite the fact that that problematically implies some sort of inherent inferiority in women, we probably wouldn't even be discussing this. However, if he had called Adams a "bitch nigga" this too would be front page news.

Why?

Because there is just certain language that you can't really use in the present. As a matter of fact, it's probably more damning to use a gay slur over a racial one at this point, especially considering the reappropriation of of terms such as "nigger."

If you're using gay slurs or terms in a modern context, you're about as played out as a betamax and I expect(ed) Kobe to know this.

I expect(ed) Kobe to understand that whether he liked it or not you just CAN'T use that type of language anymore.

I'm not here to judge Kobe's morality. If he wants to use every slur in the book in his private life, I honestly don't care. But when you're in a public forum, you simply cannot expose blatant offensiveness in the way that he did.

You can provide all of the excuses that you want, but this is certainly a low point in the career for one of the NBA's all-time greats. And this is coming from a fan.



*In case you think that I can't read lips, Kobe released this statement regarding his actions:

“What I said last night should not be taken literally. My actions were out of frustration during the Heat of the game, period. The words expressed do NOT reflect my feelings towards the gay and lesbian communities and were NOT meant to offend anyone.”

**This post may be slightly off course of our usual race dialogue, but Kobe is a big black kid...so it's all good.

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