Kobe Bryant: I Defended Gays In High School

Kobe Bryant: I Defended Gays In High School

Kobe Bryant claims he used to beat up gay bullies.

Published April 18, 2011

(Photo: Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Kobe Bryant continues to speak out about his use of a gay slur last week during an NBA game.

The Los Angeles Laker has already apologized for using the term, but in an interview with ESPN’s Lisa Salters, he further explained that he was not a homophobe. Bryant told Salters that after going online and reading about the suicides of various kids who were taunted with slurs like the ones he used, “I’ve since learned what that word still means to a lot of people.”

Kobe also added that back in high school he actually used to beat up kids who would tease his gay friends. He explained, "I used to beat up a lot of kids even in high school who used to tease my friends because they were gay, or because they were black, or because they were Jewish, or because they were yellow, or because they were whatever.”

There has been criticism to Kobe’s apology, to which he has to say, "For people who don't think my apology is sincere, they don't know me. This isn't over for me. I really plan to do more. What I said was ignorant and I really didn't realize what I was saying.”

Kobe noted that he will continue to do his part to bring about awareness.

Written by Michael Arceneaux

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