Kevin Durant's brilliance as a world basketball star has been suddenly overshadowed by the homophobic comments he used in a social media scuffle with actor Michael Rapaport. The phrases of yore – "all you do is suck her so that other men pay attention to you"; "I swear I'll spit in your face when I see your dirty ass", among other niceties – they have earned him a fine of 50,000 dollars (about 42,500 euros), simple change for a player who this season will charge 33 million euros. But the damage of the fine imposed by the NBA is incalculable for Durant's image.
KD, as he is known, was quick to apologize. “I am sorry that people have seen the language that I used. It's not what I want people to see and hear from me, but I hope I can overcome it and get back on the court, ”said the 32-year-old power forward, who has not played since February due to an injury.
Also Rapaport, The 51-year-old, who shared Durant's insulting messages with his 2.2 million followers on Instagram and later participated in a debate about it on ESPN Radio, lamented the outcome: “I feel bad about that, because of my participation in the situation, for having come so far. I met him once. It was great, cordial. I'm a fan. ”
The NBA does not tolerate racist, homophobic or anti-Semitic comments under any circumstances. Three weeks ago, he fined another player, Miami Heat's Meyers Leonard, also $ 50,000, the maximum allowed by disciplinary regulations, in addition to suspending him for a week to train or use the team's facilities. The controversy arose in this case during the broadcast of a live video game game on Twitch. The 29-year-old center, who has not played since December due to an injury, lost his temper at one point and exclaimed: “You fucking cowards! Don't shoot me fucking kike [derogatory word in reference to Jews]. ”
Adam Silver, the NBA commissioner, stressed:“ Meyers Leonard's comment has no justification and such a disgusting phrase has no place in the NBA or in our society". The player apologized and said he was ignorant of the anti-Semitic meaning of the word kike . Silver added a notice to boaters: "We have communicated to Meyers that insulting comments like this will not be tolerated and that he is expected from now on to respond to our league's core values: equality, tolerance, inclusion and respect."
The NBA has fined many players for inappropriate comments or gestures, although most occurred in the context of games. Durant himself was fined $ 25,000 in 2018, when he was playing for Golden State, for yelling at a spectator: “Watch the fucking game and shut your mouth.” PP Jokic, Marc Gasol and Mark Cuban
Denver center Nikola Jokic Nuggets , was fined the same amount that same year for a homophobic comment alluding to Wendell Carter, a Chicago Bulls player. Marc Gasol had to pay a $ 15,000 penalty in December 2017 when his then team, Memphis, snapped an 11-game losing streak to Minnesota, and in the post-game interview he blurted out: "We won, so fuck it." Joel Embiid paid a $ 15,000 fine in July 2017 for writing on Instagram Live “Fuck you LaVar Ball, ” in reference to the father of players Lonzo, LaMello and LiAngelo. Dwight Howard, Dwyane Wade, Kyrie Irving or Russell Westbrook have also paid fines for derogatory comments or gestures towards the public or rivals.
Neither the coaches nor the franchise owners escape the sanctions. Mark Cuban, the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks , takes the cake. The largest penalty, $ 10 million, was imposed in 2018 as responsible for allowing a hostile work environment for women. The NBA does not forgive either on the court or on social media.
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