Kobe Bryant calling an official a “faggot” in the heat of the moment (towards the end of the regular season) is probably the least of the NBA’s problems when it comes to homosexuality. Anyone who has ever been angry knows that when you’re mad, you tend to say the most vile thing you can think of in that moment (at least proportional to your anger). This is why angry two year olds tell their parents they hate them so often — yet we don’t worry about an epidemic of parenting-hating two year olds. Those little assholes just don’t have cooler insults to throw around. I’m sure if a two year old had a more advanced vocabulary, it would know that what would really get to mommy is being called a “cunt,” and of course, that “faggot” bomb would just blow up daddy’s self-esteem. Kobe had his own two year old rant, and he had the vocabulary to back that rant up — his tirade was nothing more and nothing less than that.
Luckily, Kobe’s outbreak and the recent admission from Suns President and CEO Rick Welts that he is gay can hopefully lead to some positive steps in the NBA in regards to homosexuality. The league (and its fans, actually) is quite frankly an ass-load of homophobia (which is not the fear of homosapiens, I have recently found out). Tim Hardaway summed up the general aura of NBA players and fans’ views on homosexuality when he said, “Well, you know I hate gay people, so I let it be known. I don’t like gay people and I don’t like to be around gay people. I am homophobic. I don’t like it. It shouldn’t be in the world or in the United States.” Allen Iverson wrote an anti-gay rap single that was so bad (either in it’s anti-gayness or just in general) that it was never released.
The most accepting comment I’ve heard from an existing player on the subject of homosexuality? That honor went to Lebron James when he said, “With teammates you have to be trustworthy, and if you’re gay and you’re not admitting that you are, then you are not trustworthy. So that’s like the No. 1 thing as teammates — we all trust each other…. It’s a trust factor, honestly. A big trust factor.” I have a few things to say on that gem of a quote.
First of all, I want to point out with the most sarcastic tone you could possibly imagine that Lebron would NEVER hold any big secrets from his teammates. EVER. Like…that…he…was planning on leaving the Cavs for the Heat and he knew about it for several years? Oh right, he did that — and it directly affected his teammates in a very real way. That’s allowable, but holding a personal secret that is no fucking business to anyone but that player? NOPE. Honesty or else, Lebron says.
The second thing I have to say is this feels like a really big trap to me. Why would anyone care if someone else is gay unless they planned on doing something with that information? Lebron probably — and Hardaway and Iverson definitely — fall into the heterosexual egomaniac delusions of grandeur that so many homophobic men fall into… They think that every gay man not only wants to fuck them — but will rape them just to get that fuck. Yes, homophobic NBA players, you are so irresistible that every single gay man ever cannot help but attempt to shove his cock down your throat. It is this irrational fear — fueled by egotistical douchebaggery — that causes dickwads like Hardaway to ostracize homosexuals. Listen, when you are Lebron James, you aren’t going to have another man’s penis inside you unless you want it inside you. Don’t fucking sweat it.
While I don’t believe that gay basketball players need to be forced to come out to their teammates, it would be nice if the NBA would foster an environment that would allow players to come out without any sort of backlash from their teammates. The fact is, there are a lot of homosexuals in the world, and if people think John Amaechi was the only homosexual to ever play in the NBA, they are lying to themselves. Right now, the “official” demographics say that only about 4% of Americans are homosexual, but that number is bound to be very low. Right now, 4% of Americans are out of the closet homosexuals who feel comfortable saying they are homosexual on surveys. Given a recent survey that said by 50, about 15% of men have had oral sex with another man, I’m going to guess that number is higher. When we consider how many people have been in the NBA, let’s assume more than one player and one team president are gay. If only two people in the history of the NBA have come out, obviously the NBA has not created a very good environment for it.
The problem is that acceptance is impossible to force on people. However, the NBA can do a few things to hopefully hurry the process along. Maybe they already do this one (how the fuck would I know?) but mandatory sensitivity training for every rookie entering the NBA would probably be a good idea. It may also make sense to have a player go back every five years after that — especially since a bunch of fucking nineteen year olds may not get as much out of this training as a twenty-four year old might.
The NBA should also hand out heavy fines and even suspensions for hate speech of all kind. While I don’t think Kobe is a homophobe, I think — in the future — what he did should have cost a lot in money and a little in games (like… a game or two). It’s touchy creating a rule for that after the fact, so I am fine with how the NBA handled the situation, but it would be a good rule change for the future. This would also go for any kind of hate speech against any group — except maybe the Polish and Italians. And the Greek. I also hate Quebec. But other than that, hate speech should not be allowed.
Most of all, fans should rally behind the acceptance of homosexual players in the NBA. When a player comes out of the closet, fans should look at that as a good thing — a chance for some homosexual kid somewhere to know he can make it in a very homophobic world and an especially homophobic sport. When a player comes out with some dumbass anti-gay spew, fans should knock that mother fucker down. We should look at that shit as unacceptable. For as self-centered as many NBA players are, they are not completely deaf to the voices of the fans. If the fans support homosexuality in the NBA, the players may become more accepting of it as well. And anyone who is anti-gay can get fucked.