Kobe Bryant tells fan on Twitter that 'gay' shouldn't be used as an insult

Tuesday February 12th, 2013

Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant chided a fan on Twitter for using "gay" as an insult to another fan, saying that he had learned from a much-publicized incident in April 2011 in which he was fined $100,000 for using a gay slur.

Bryant took heat for the incident in 2011, for which NBA commissioner David Stern admonished Bryant and called the use of the slur "unacceptable."

"Kobe and everyone associated with the NBA know that insensitive or derogatory comments are not acceptable and have no place in our game or society," Stern said then.

This time, Bryant was the one admonishing one of his more than 1.3 million Twitter followers. He noticed in one of his mentions that a follower had used the word "gay" as an insult to another fan:

Another follower reminded him of the 2011 incident. Bryant replied that he had learned from it:

Patrick Burke, the co-founder of You Can Play — which advocates for locker-room equality — said he was encouraged by Bryant's comments.

“I’m very excited to see Kobe taking an active stand on this,” Burke told Outsports. “His actions are proof that athletes who use casual homophobia can be educated on this issue. Athletes who are given a chance to learn from their mistakes can become some of the LGBT community’s most valuable supporters.”

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