Brooklyn Nets star Cam Thomas fined $40,000 by NBA over homophobic slur caught on camera

Cam Thomas during an NBA basketball match.

Professional basketball player Cam Thomas has been fined after using the derogatory and dehumanising phrase “no homo” during a live TV broadcast.

He was responding to a comment made by teammate Spencer Dinwiddie, who said the Brooklyn Nets only sign the “best-looking” players, following his (Dinwiddie’s) recent acquisition by the team.

Laughing at the comment, Cam Thomas remarked that the team “already had good-looking guys, no homo”.

The phrase is typically used by straight men to denounce any vaguely defined implications about being gay or bisexual, sometimes even only the idea of complimenting another man.

While it’s often used as a joke, the phrase is also used in a context where homosexuality is either looked down upon or seen as undesirable.

Announcing the fine of $40,000 (£33,000), Joe Dumars, the executive vice-president of the National Basketball Association (NBA) – the sport’s governing body – said it was for the use of “derogatory and disparaging language”.

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Prior to the fine, the 21-year-old shooting guard apologised on social media for what he described as “insensitive” language following his side’s victory over the Chicago Bulls on 9 February.

“I was excited about the win and was being playful,” he wrote. “I definitely didn’t intend to offend anyone, but realise that I probably did. My apologies again.”

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The fine was a first for Cam Thomas, who joined the Brooklyn Nets in 2021 but similar sanctions have been issued by the NBA in the past.

Minnesota Timberwolves’ Anthony Edwards was fined $40,000 last September, following an Instagram post where he called a group of men “queer-ass n****s”.

He later apologised for his “immature” and “disrespectful” comments, following a review by the NBA.

“It’s unacceptable for me or anyone to use that language in such a hurtful way, there’s no excuse for it, at all,” Edwards said.

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