Home > Uncategorized > UPDATE: UH-OH! Joakim Noah Drops The Kobe-Styled F-Bomb On Live Television

UPDATE: UH-OH! Joakim Noah Drops The Kobe-Styled F-Bomb On Live Television

5/23 UPDATE: Noah was indeed fined. $50,000. I thought it may be a little more, but I’m good with that number. I think the NBA is basically stating that there is a difference in saying “faggot” to a fan and saying it to an official. At least, I hope that’s what it means. But we’ll never know if Noah’s status as a lesser star in the assocation compared to Kobe affected his payment total.

Life moves forward …


If precedent means anything in the NBA, Chicago Bulls forward Joakim Noah is going to be carrying around a much lighter wallet in the near future.

There’s no question what words came out of his mouth. And yeah, that deserves a fine.

In case you forgot, Kobe Bryant was fined $100,000 in April for directing the word “faggot” from the bench toward referee Bennie Adams during a game on TNT, the same network airing tonight’s Bulls-Heat game. Noah’s offense pretty much falls into the same group, except it was toward a fan. As such, I think Noah will be docked less than Kobe, but I’m interested to see just how much less.

South Park cleared up the generally accepted meaning of “faggot” these days. It’s not meant to be a signal of hatred of gay people. It is thought of as just another term to call someone — anyone, regardless of sexual orientation — who is causing you aggravation or annoyance. It’s like calling someone stupid. And that definitely would have been a better word choice for Noah.

However, the NBA doesn’t accept the pop culture definition, nor should it. The word is still offensive. Noah should be heavily fined and issue an apology, saying he meant no disrespect to the homosexual community. His status as a lesser star in the association compared to Bryant should carry absolutely zero weight when David Stern assesses the punishment Noah deserves. Maybe he’ll have to take part in an awareness commercial.

I thought it was pretty ironic how that spot aired on TNT while I was writing this post.

For me, the most unfortunate aspect to all of this is how Noah’s slip will likely be covered, analyzed, scrutinized and beaten to the death by all arms of the media. I guess I’m being hypocritical in that regard.

UPDATE: Noah apologized after the game. He said he was sorry, that he meant no disrespect to anyone and that he just “got caught up in the moment.”

It was vague. Short, but not really pithy. I think he’ll have to say something a little more extensive later this week.

After giving it some thought, I think there are two sides to choose from as to the size of the punishment you think Noah should receive. And I’m not totally sure where I stand right now. It could be:

Noah should get fined a larger amount than Kobe because Noah disrespected a paying customer. Players disrespect referees all the time. They may not say “faggot,” but to say it to a fan, someone who helps financially support the NBA, should be seen as a greater offense.

OR …

He should get fined less than Kobe because the NBA always wants to make sure it takes care of its employees. Insulting a faction of NBA authority, such as a game official, should be seen as more offensive to the association than saying the same to a fan.

I think I’m on the latter side, but this fence is pretty comfortable for sitting. I guess we’ll see.

  1. D. Munoz
    May 22, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    I hope the league comes down on Noah like they did on Kobe. Kobe’s comment was not directed at anyone in particular. You could clearly see and hear Noah say “#uck you faggot” as he was looking into the audience over his right shoulder. If the league reviews the unedited tape of the game broadcast on TNT after Noah was called for his second foul it can be seen and heard. Unfortunately for the league this occurs after the “Anti-homophobic” campaign. This young man has displayed this demeanor all through his college career and short professional career. I recall him blowing kisses at the opposing teams cheerleaders after he scored in a college game. This behavior will most likely continue until he is reprimanded and issues a public apology. He is not bigger than the game of basketball and he needs to understand that. He is paid a large salary and should act more professional.

  2. May 22, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    Thanks for the comment, D!

    Noah did issue an apology after the game, but it was lacking. I hope he does better — maybe someone will force him to read a prepared statement this week? I’m not sure how much he’ll get fined, but I would have to think it’s close to Kobe’s penalty. You could clearly see what Noah said. It was a little harder to hear it over the telecast, but there is enough evidence. I’d be unsatisfied with anything under $50,000. That would just show me that the NBA truly doesn’t care about its fans.

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