After reading “Who Would Have Thought It? It's Now Time To Defend Kobe Bryant” on the Sports Nation blog here on Fan vs Fan I started to comment but realized I needed far more space. What fallows in my response to that column. Feel free to weigh in:
I can not disagree with you more strongly on just about everything you wrote. Your completely missing the point surrounding the Kobe outrage and media attention.
The only thing I agree with you on is that Kobe should have been punished. The NBA is very strict about players and coaches yelling at referees and (arguments/jokes about NBA officiating aside) Kobe is no exception to that. Also PC culture is ridiculous.
You completely missed the point on everything else though. The media attention has nothing to do with him yelling at a ref and getting frustrated. It has to do entirely with the word he used. He used a homophobic slur to yell at a referee, why?
Swear all you want, I don’t care. Use every four letter word you can think of, go for it. But why use a homophobic slur. You keep saying that if he had used a different work there would be no issue
It’s also interesting what quote you used from John Amaechi and his USA Today interview.
While the quote you used doesn’t really fit your argument it does highlight why this has become a major media firestorm, which I’ll get to later.
Amaechi also said: “The reason it's difficult is because of how influential he is. When he talks, not just young people but sports fans in general listen. They mimic. He sets a tone that says, "This is acceptable language when you are frustrated." It isn't acceptable language.”
Also “Ameachi is speaking out on something that he has no business commenting on” (your words) is dead wrong. Amaechi is the perfect personal to ask about this from a media stand point. He played five years in the NBA, is a phycologist and openly gay. Pretty sure he hits the trifecta for expert opinion regarding this issue.
As far as your argument that had it been a no name player would anyone care, your right, but it also adds to the media firestorm. Kobe is one of the faces of the NBA and the camera is going to be focused on him at all times. He knows this. Its not like he was walking out of his house and TMZ was filming him.
He is arguably the best player in game, possibly of all time, the camera is always on him and everything he does is under scrutiny.
Just to add to my point, here’s what Amaechi said “I don't think he is any more homophobic than the average person, or most certainly your average person in sports. When you're in the spotlight, when a camera is trained on your face on a daily basis, you don't have the luxury of losing control. When you do, I like to see people be a little more contrite than that.”
The issue of homosexual rights is a major hot button topic in the media and political realms alike. Amaechi’s comments about all the young people killing themselves and being murder because of being gay and hate-filled language associated with it is a much bigger issue I’m not willing to argue here.
I’ll just say you are dead wrong on this, completely missed the reasons behind the media firestorm and I welcome any retort you may have.