NBA’s Roy Hibbert fined $75,000 for homophobic slur and swearing

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Professional basketball player Roy Hibberts has been fined $75,000 (£49,173) by the National Basketball Association for swearing and using homophobic language in a press conference.

The Indiana Pacers centre called the media “motherfuckers” during an interview on Saturday, then went on to say of Miami Heat player LeBron James: “LeBron was scoring in the post or getting to the paint cause he was stretching me out so much — no homo.”

After it was announced that Hibbert would be fined for the comments, NBA commissioner David Stern said: “While Roy has issued an apology, which is no doubt sincere, a fine is necessary to reinforce that such offensive comments will not be tolerated by the NBA.”

Coach Franck Vogel said of Hibbert: “He obviously made a great mistake. He’s very contrite and feels horribly about it.”

Hibbert said in a statement on Sunday: “I am apologizing for insensitive remarks made during the postgame press conference after our victory over Miami Saturday night. They were disrespectful and offensive and not a reflection of my personal views.

“I used a slang term that is not appropriate in any setting, private or public, and the language I used definitely has no place in a public forum, especially over live television.

“I apologize to those who I have offended, to our fans and to the Pacers’ organization. I sincerely have deep regret over my choice of words last night.”

Hibbert also appears to have contacted recently out NBA player Jason Collins, sending him a tweet which said: “hey can I get a follow. Would like to discuss something’s with you.”

Collins became the first Major League US sports star to come out as gay this year.

On 29 April, he made history by declaring in a Sports Illustrated article: “I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m black. And I’m gay.”