I wonder if someone called a ref the N-word because they didn’t like his call, Kobe would be satisfied with an apology that started: “if the African American community was offended by that epithet…”? A direct apology is acceptable. One of those milquetoast apology-non apologies is not.
[Kobe Bryant] has issued a statement about his homophobic outburst during last night’s Lakers game — essentially admitting to using the word “f**got” and explaining, “What I said last night should not be taken literally.”
Kobe continues, “My actions were out of frustration during the heat of the game, period. “
He adds, “The words expressed do NOT reflect my feelings towards the gay and lesbian communities and were NOT meant to offend anyone.”
Also, I hope this incident weighs heavily on all you closeted gay professional athletes out there. The rest of us have sacrificed and dug in to move your lives forward, and you are quite entitled to think you can remain in the closet. Certainly, I get the argument that you have so much to lose when it comes to all the perks, hero worship and fabulous wealth of being an American professional athlete. But it is time for one of you who is currently a professional athlete to grow a pair and do what others, like Austin Hendrix and Gareth Thomas, have done here and in other countries. Kick that damned closet door open and make it easier for the next young gay athlete and give back to YOUR community. We, the LGBT community and our organizations, will be there to defend and go to bat for you the moment you step out of the closet, but the days of celebrating you for being so selfless and brave to come out AFTER you’ve retired are long over.
Today’s society and the LGBT community have moved forward, due to countless unsung heroes, to the point where openly gay and lesbian troops are now slowly being accepted in our military. There is no justification for gay athletes, or even those highly successful famous athletes who have retired and might still have direct influence on our society, to remain silent. Will it be hard? Of course. Was it hard for those of us, like me, to come out and get kicked out and lose our careers in the military in order to do the right thing? Yes, but we have nothing but pride in ourselves, and no regrets, now that we can say we sacrificed our military careers as part of the battle to allow gay and lesbian troops to serve openly in our United States military. Come out of the closet gay professional athletes. It is time.