Phil Jackson Apologizes for 'Brokeback' Comment

Fri. November 16, 2007 12:00 AM by

Los Angeles, CA - Los Angeles Lakers head coach Phil Jackson has apologized for the remarks he made earlier this week that brought the wrath of both National Basketball Association officials and gay rights groups.

In the wake of his team's 92-107 loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday night, Jackson said, "We call this a Brokeback Mountain game because there was so much penetration and kickouts. So, you know, it was one of those games."

On Wednesday night, the controversial basketball coach said: "In retrospect, it wasn't really funny. When you take it out of context, it wasn't funny. It was a poor attempt at humor, and I deserved to be reprimanded by the NBA. If I've offended any horses, Texans, cowboys or gays, I apologize."

Jackson had been chastised by NBA spokesman Brian McIntyre earlier in the day, who told the Los Angeles Times, "The remarks are in poor taste and the Lakers have assured us such remarks will not occur in the future."

Neil G. Giuliano, president of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, also expressed disappointment over Jackson's comment. "Phil Jackson's been coaching long enough that he should be able to talk about the Lakers' performance without resorting to cheap gay jokes," he said in a release.

This isn't the first time Jackson has been reprimanded by the league. He was fined $25,000 last November for criticizing referees and was hit with a $25,000 fine in December 2005 for violating the league's anti-tampering rule. Jackson was fined $50,000 in March 2004 for saying referee Bob Delaney was prejudiced against Shaq O'Neal.

Written By Bryan Ochalla

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