Chicago Bulls forward Joakim Noah on Monday was fined $50,000 by the NBA for shouting a gay slur at a fan on Sunday night.
After getting called for a foul against LeBron James of the Miami Heat in the first quarter during Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals in the NBA playoffs, Noah called the fan a “fucking faggot.”
Noah apologized after the game, telling reporters, “The fan said something to me that I thought was disrespectful, and I got caught up in the moment, and I responded.”
“I said some things that I shouldn’t have said. I was frustrated and I didn’t mean any disrespect to anybody,” Noah said.
In April, the same gay slur drew a $100,000 fine for Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers — Bryant lashed out at a referee, also calling him a “fucking faggot” after receiving a technical foul.
According to a league official, Bryant’s heftier fine included included “discipline for verbal abuse of a game official.”
As with the Bryant incident, Noah’s outburst was caught on tape.
“We need to get to a point where you don’t use an anti-gay slur to respond to events,” said Joe Solmonese, President of the Human Rights Campaign, in a statement earlier today.
Following the Bryant incident last month, NBA commissioner David Stern said that “such a distasteful term should never be tolerated” and added “insensitive or derogatory comments are not acceptable and have no place in our game or society.”