During Game 3 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals series between the Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat, Bulls center Joakim Noah repeated the same offense that got Lakers star Kobe Bryant in trouble earlier this month.
After picking up another foul and immediately getting benched for it, Noah turned around to the Miami crowd and yelled a gay slur at one of the Miami fans. Realizing that he had been caught on camera, Noah apologized to the media after the game.
â€œI apologize. 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 shouldnâ€™t have said. I was frustrated and I donâ€™t mean no disrespect to anybody. I just got caught up.â€
Well, apparently the quick apology didn’t get him a pass on that fine we all knew was coming. The NBA sent word yesterday that Noah would be fined $50,000 for the supposed slip up. The amount is only half of what Kobe had to pay for using similar language because his comments were directed at an NBA official.
The fallout from the incident has caused many people to question how accountable should fans be for instigating reactions from players. Bulls forward Luol Deng said the fan repeatedly made comments toward the team during the game. “It wasn’t just one time or two times. He just kept going and it became really annoying. He just lost his temper.”
And fellow player Carlos Boozer also said, “That’s a part of the game. Fans have the right to say what they want to say after they buy their tickets. Unfortunately sometimes, for us, we just have to sit there and take it. Unfortunately, that’s part of sports.”