Coach in hot water over Brokeback comments

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Los Angeles Lakers head coach Phil Jackson found himself in a bit of hot water yesterday morning after making a comment the previous night that alluded to Brokeback Mountain, the Oscar-winning movie portraying a pair of gay cowboys.

In the wake of his team’s 92-107 loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday night, Jackson said: “We call this a Brokeback Mountain, game because there was so much penetration and kickouts. So, you know, it was one of those games.”

That quip didn’t sit well with league officials or with gay rights groups.

“The remarks are in poor taste and the Lakers have assured us such remarks will not occur in the future,” NBA spokesman Brian McIntyre told the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday.

Around the same time, Neil G. Giuliano, president of the Gay Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, released a statement:

“Phil Jackson’s been coaching long enough that he should be able to talk about the Lakers’ performance without resorting to cheap gay jokes.”

According to the Los Angeles Times, this isn’t the first time Jackson has been reprimanded by the league.

He was fined $25,000 (£12,205) last November for criticising referees and was hit with a $25,000 fine in December 2005 for violating the league’s anti-tampering rule.

Jackson was fined $50,000 in March 2004 for saying referee Bob Delaney was “prejudiced against Shaq [O’Neal].”

Bryan Ochalla © 2007; All Rights Reserved.