Los Angeles Lakers and GLAAD to work together

Sat. April 16, 2011 9:10 AM by GoPride.com News Staff

Los Angeles, CA - In the wake of Kobe Bryant's use of an anti-gay slur during Tuesday's game against San Antonio, the Los Angeles Lakers and the NBA have joined with the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation to address homophobic remarks and attitudes in the sport.

"What happened in Tuesday night's game is not representative of what the Lakers stand for," said Lakers spokesman John Black. "We want to reaffirm our commitment to all our fans and our appreciation for the support we receive from all segments of society."

Bryant used a homophobic and derogatory slur after receiving a technical foul during the game. The Lakers star, who was fined $100,000 by the league, called his outburst "stupid and ignorant."

The LA Lakers, NBA executives have since agreed to meet with GLAAD to discuss ways to send a message about the power of such words to the league's audience, many of whom are young people, parents or educators.

"In light of this slur, there is a real opportunity to build support for our community and educate fans of Kobe Bryant, the Los Angeles Lakers, and the NBA about the use of such words," said GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios. "The Los Angeles Lakers have taken a positive step and we look forward to working with them to create messages from players and coaches that combat bullying."

GLAAD has encouraged the NBA to continue to advocate for zero tolerance policies for anti-gay slurs.

Recently, GLAAD has also worked with the New York Yankees and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) to address issues of homophobia in sports. After working with GLAAD, the New York Yankees adopted a new policy that strictly prohibits anti-gay slurs in Yankee Stadium.

"We appreciate the input we've received from GLAAD the past two days and will look forward to working with them on ways to help educate ourselves and our fans, and to help keep language like this out of our game," said Black.