Former gay NBA player John Amaechi responded to Bryant's slur in a New York Times NBA Blog post. He wrote:
"Kobe Bryant isn’t some great, bigoted monster, as some have implied, but he isn’t the innocent victim of some overblown one-off incident about a word that’s 'not even that bad,' either.
This controversy is not a storm in a teacup turned into a vendetta by loony liberals, as many in the sports world seem to think. What our heroes say and do means something — and in an America where sports stars carry more influence and in some cases more credibility than senators, what they say matters more than ever."
In the post, Amaechi asks Bryant to stop fighting the fine and notes the basketball star is "powerful enough to make an important change in the way we look at real equality in sports and in general."
The New Civil Rights Project has written about this extensively. In this article, David Badash writes:
"Ironically, Bryant’s words could not have been more relevant. Just hours earlier the NBA, the Ad Council, and GLSEN had been taping a public service announcement against anti-gay language as part of GLSEN’s 'Think Before You Speak' campaign, to be aired during the NBA finals, in an effort to show the league as more 'gay-friendly.' And this week marks the fifteenth anniversary of GLSEN’s 'Day of Silence,' an effort during which 'hundreds of thousands of students nationwide take a vow of silence to bring attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in their schools,' according to GLSEN."
Today, Not In Our Town community leader Jim Hennigan pointed us to an example of how a community in Brazil responded to another anti-gay incident in sports. This time, it was the crowd at a semifinal Brazillian volleyball match that chanted the same anti-gay slur at a particular player. The incident prompted the player to admit he was gay. He also said the incident has been "very traumatic."
Asterisk has this to say about the response:
"...the outpouring of support for Michael has been tremendous. The brazenness of the crowd’s bigotry seems to have surprised a lot of people and called them to action.
At the second semi-final match on last Saturday, the team wore pink warmup shirts to show support, and the team’s libero wore a rainbow jersey during the match.
The crowd unfurled a gigantic banner reading Vôlei Futuro Against Prejudice…
Then the crowd used thundersticks emblazoned with Michael’s name to turn the stadium pink!
What do you think? Is this how it's done? What do you say to basketball star Kobe Bryant?