A longtime NBA photographer was fired Friday (August 14) after posting a derogatory meme On Facebook of Sen. Kamala Harris, the presumptive Democratic vice presidential candidate in the 2020 election.
The photographer, Bill Baptist, is a Houston-based independent contractor who had worked with the Houston Rockets for over 30 years, reports USA Today Sports. He posted the meme after Joe Biden, the presumptive Democractic presidential candidate announced Harris as his running mate.
A person, who requested anonymity and has direct knowledge of the situation, told USA TODAY Sports that Baptist had been removed from the NBA bubble in Orlando. An NBA spokesperson told the television news station that Baptist was no longer working for the organization.
WNBA Hall of Fame recipient Sheryl Swoopes sounded off about the matter in a Facebook post of her own, noting that Baptist had served as a photographer for the Comets, as well.
"It's amazing how people will smile in your face but eventually their true colors will show. @NBA and Houston Rockets he needs to GO!!! So disrespectful. Bill Baptiste (sic) shame on You!!!"
The uproar began earlier this week when Baptist posted an image that read "Joe and the Hoe," according to a local NBC affiliate KPRC 2.
For his part, Baptist shared a statement with the local affiliate, issuing an apology for the photo, saying it has since been removed.
"I deeply regret posting on my Facebook page a phrase that I saw and copied from others as a sample of some people's reactions to Biden's selection of Senator Harris as his choice for VP," Baptist wrote in the statement, notes The Hill.
"The phrase I posted does not reflect my personal views at all," he added. "I should not have been so insensitive to post the statements by others. I sincerely apologize to all of those who have rightfully been offended."