Sure, you’re caught in the heat of the moment, and the fans, especially in the NBA, can be a little obnoxious.
But even still, Bulls forward Joakim Noah has to be smarter than he was Sunday night, when he made an apparent gay slur in the direction of shouting fans inside the Miami Heat’s arena. Noah had just picked up his second foul of the night with 6:26 remaining in the first quarter when he went to the bench and immediately began being heckled by the Heat fans.
Noah turned around and shouted at the fans behind him, dropping the same gay slur that drew Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant a $100,000 fine last month. The cameras were right in his face to capture his every word. It turned out to be the beginning of a forgettable night for Noah, who scored just one point and grabbed five rebounds in the Bulls 96-85 loss that dropped them to a 2-1 deficit in the Eastern Conference Finals series.
Now, Noah is awaiting a call Monday from the NBA offices to see what his penalty will be for dropping the F-word. He showed remorse for the insult Sunday night.
"I apologize," Noah said to reporters. "The fan said something to me that I thought was disrespectful, and I got caught up in the moment, and I said some things that I shouldn't have said. I was frustrated and I don't mean no disrespect to anybody. I just got caught up."
Now we will see what the price will be. Most believe he will receive the same $100,000 fine Bryant received. But there is a slight difference which could land Noah a steeper penalty. Bryant aimed his insult at a referee, while Noah’s slur was directed at the NBA’s all-too-precious fans who buy expensive floor seats.
(Photo: P Photo/Wilfredo Lee)