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War over Words: Kobe gets fined.
In the heat of the debate over bullying, hazing and language in a 1,000 text message involving the Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Richie Incognito and his teammate Jonathan Martin, we, at Blackathlete.net, felt this article should be re-published and debated.
NORTH CAROLINA—(BASN)Reverend Al. Sharpton and the NAACP tried to bury the “N” word. Pastor Terry Jones burned the Holy Quran. Now, the gay community is trying to terminate the “F” word from the English language after Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant was fined $100,000 by the NBA for using a homophobic slur during a home game against the San Antonio Spurs on April 12th.
Personally, I think the gay community is making Bryant a political punching bag and shamefully trying to make him the new spokesperson against the usage of the “F-word.”
The real question, however, is whether Bryant’s usage of the word faggot is considered hate speech or simply a part of basketball lingo secretly captured on camera.
Because with microphones everywhere and candid cameras trying to nab players in awkward positions, the world shouldn’t be shocked when athletes use words that are deemed inappropriate.
First and foremost, these are grown men.
And unlike football players, basketball players can’t hide behind face masks or helmets and talk dirty. Therefore, we shouldn’t expect them to bite their tongues while on television.
If that’s the case, maybe the NBA should place a PG-13 rating over all of their games with a warning sticker for excessive language for parents, who may have children watching.
Or maybe the NBA should ban curse words from the entire game altogether? And give out technical fouls plus a $10,000 fines every time they hear someone using profanity?
But this is not reality, that’s Disney World.
And if you want to see Michael Jordan play cartoons, go watch Space Jams.
For this reason, I am not debating whether Bryant’s use of the other “F” word is right or wrong?
Why? Because it is totally impossible for player’s to censor their language on the sideline, in the dugout, during the game or in the locker room.
With that said, we definitely don’t want athletes handcuffed to political correctness while trying to police their thoughts, censor their conversation and whispering their words during the heat of competition.
But if that’s the case, maybe the NBA should just stop ease dropping on them, remove all the high-tech microphones, and let the sports commentators do the play-by-play.
For instance, what does the Association do when the fans in the crowd start chanting “Bullshit” after a bad call? Do they pretend like they don’t hear it? Edit the sound out? Or start artificially manufacturing cheers?
My point is, who will be next on the list of being offended by words uttered by athletes in a game situation.
Maybe, it will be a group of women, who overheard a superstar player using the “Bitch” word? Or maybe, a Christian Rights Organization, who gets upset when another star athlete uses the lords name in vain by screaming “G-Damn It.”
As you can see, this could get messy.
In Bryant’s case, however, he confessed that he has used the word before on the court but said that he used the word faggot this time against the Spurs because of frustration after a five game losing streak.
This, of course, does not give Bryant the right to say the inflammatory word.
Now, Bryant, who is the face of the NBA, said that he wants to use his bad example to eradicate the word from the English language.
Even though Bryant is trying to be a good role model, I, honestly, think, it’s a silly campaign to try to ban a word, just as it is ridiculous to remove the “N-word” from Mark Twain’s classic book “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”
Therefore, I suggest we all learn something from one of the greatest philosophers and thinkers in American history, comedian George Carlin.
Carlin, whose 1972 monologue “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television” brilliantly addressed this issue, which led to a Supreme Court decision to give the the federal government power to regulate speech on broadcast television and radio in the United States.
The original seven words at that time listed by Carlin were Shit, Piss, Fuck, Cunt, Cocksucker, Motherfucker, and Tits.
Unfortunately, Carlin’s lists must be updated due to Kobe Bryant.
Now, that’s “f-up.”