Hibbert used the phrase that some consider to be a gay slur as well as a profanity while answering questions following Saturday night’s game 6 of the NBA Eastern Conference finals. In the that contest, the Pacers defeated the Miami Heat 99-77 to advance to game 7 Monday night for the right to meet the San Antonio Spurs in the 2013 NBA Finals.
As far as the words “no homo,” Hibbert ssaid them at the end of a response about his defense of LeBron James during the game.
Hibbert said he knew he’d probably be find and didn’t care.
He was absolutely right because the league announced Sunday that Hibbert would be fined for “using inappropriate and vulgar language.” Ironically, or in spite of, the fine came down after Hibbert issued an apology Sunday morning. He said in a statement that he sincerely has “deep regret over my choice of words last night.”
“I am apologizing for insensitive remarks made during the postgame press conference after our victory over Miami Saturday night,” Hibbert said in the statement released by the Pacers. “They were disrespectful and offensive and not a reflection of my personal views. I used a slang term that is not appropriate in any setting, private or public, and the language I used definitely has no place in a public forum, especially over live television. I apologize to those who I have offended, to our fans and to the Pacers’ organization.”
NBA commissioner David Stern acknowledged Hibbert’s apology, but said it was “necessary” to penalize the Pacers’ star center.
“While Roy has issued an apology, which is no doubt sincere, a fine is necessary to reinforce that such offensive comments will not be tolerated by the NBA,” Stern said.
Earlier Sunday morning, Hibbert also attempted to openly gay NBA player Jason Collins via Twitter.
“Hey can I get a follow,” Hibbert’s tweet read. “Would like to discuss something’s with you.”
Hibbert’s comments also got the attention of “Athlete Ally,” an activist organization working to end homophobia in sports.
“We are disappointed by Hibbert’s comments, as that kind of language is disrespectful, has no place in sports and is antithetical to the NBA’s policies,” the statement from “Athlete Ally” said. “As an official partner of the NBA and NBPA, Athlete Ally works closely with the league on delivering trainings and workshops to educate players about LGBT inclusion and respect. The league is undoubtedly a leader in this area, and Roy’s statement of apology clearly recognizes the harms of his comments.
“We are confident that NBA will do its part to rectify the issue to the extent it can, comprehensively educate Hibbert, who seems genuinely apologetic, and make sure that these kinds of comments are soon a thing of the past.”
During Saturday’s late-night news conference, Hibbert also cursed in reference to the media when asked why he finished so low in voting for Defensive Player of the Year.
“Y’all m————- don’t watch us play throughout the year to tell you the truth,” Hibbert said. “So that’s fine. I’m going to be real with you, and I don’t care if I get fined. We play and we’re not on TV all of the time and reporters are the ones that are voting and it is what it is. And I don’t make it, that’s fine. I’m still going to do what I have to do.”
Hibbert finished 10th in the Defensive Player of the Year voting, won by Marc Gasol of the Memphis Grizzlies.
Read/learn more at ESPN.
OK, with that bit of drama as backdrop, who do you think will win game 7? The Indiana Pacers or the Miami Heat? Remember the game is in Miami.