OT - Roy Hibbert fined by NBA for homophobic comments [LOCKED]

Submitted by Butterfield on June 3rd, 2013 at 2:48 PM

Roy Hibbert has been fined a significant amount by the NBA for saying this in a postgame interview:

 I really felt that I let Paul down in terms of having his back when LeBron was scoring in the post or getting to the paint, because they stretched me out so much. No homo.

I'm 34 and had never heard of the phrase "no homo" until I started reading MGoBoard in 2011 - I'm apparently fallen out of touch with Hip Hop since my No Limit Soldier phase.  I didn't even know its genesis until watching the second video embeded in this yahoo article (http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nba-ball-dont-lie/roy-hibbert-apologizes-saying-no-homo-calling-media-164648719.html). 

The no homo phrase seems to be accepted on the board, or at least I've never seen any poster called out for its usage in the way someone would be called out if they used a word like "fag" or said something regarded as stupid is "gay".  Curious as to the board's thoughts on why "no homo" is treated so differently than older gay slurs. 

MOD EDIT: For the most part, this seemed to be going OK and that's why it was left open (last time I looked was 9:30 PM last night admittedly), but when I checked back this morning, a few comments started to stray into board inappropriate areas (such as decidedly political remarks), so this will be locked to prevent things from sliding further. LSA



June 3rd, 2013 at 2:50 PM ^

I've never taken "no homo" as something to get offended about. I opened this expecting to see that he referred to something he didn't like as gay or the like, but this is pretty silly.


June 3rd, 2013 at 3:55 PM ^

I find it ironic that he was fined $75k for this comment conveniently after Jason Collins made his declaration about his sexual preferences.  Much worse has been said in post-game pressers, one-on-one interviews, etc. with little to no response.  This is an attempt to further the agenda to have openly gay athletes in professional sports - which I'm totally fine with.  However, I feel his fine would  have been much lower if in fact Jason Collins had not come out.

This is a huge problem I have with Professional Sports and their discipline system - very subjective, non-even-handed use of fines as a bludgeon at the discretion of the leagues' "Czars" of discipline.

Would be nice if they had some sort of structure, or rhyme or reason to the fines, e.g. $xxxx for doing this, $yyyy for doing that...not "We're going to fine you whatever we want AND we own the appeals board so just accept the fine and walk away."

Mr. Yost

June 3rd, 2013 at 6:34 PM ^

If he would've said this vs. the Heat LAST year...he would've saved himself at least $60k. Doesn't excuse it, and I think you have to set an example...but that is a fact. Collins and the media attention bumped this up from 5/10/15k to 75k. And no, I'm not blaming Collins for doing what's right and something I consider brave and pioneering.

Mr. Yost

June 3rd, 2013 at 6:31 PM ^

#1 "No homo" is not a "gay slur." Is it inappropriate? Yes. Offensive? Yes. But it's not a slur. No one is called a "no homo." Hell, "homo" may even be a slur, but "no homo" absolutely isn't.

#2 "No homo" is meant as a joke. That doesn't excuse it. But the "n-word," "f****t," etc. are offensive names.

#3 When people say "no homo" it's like when people say "that's what she said."
---Some of you still don't understand what it's about or why it's used. It's because we living in a society where people have this childish/immature (yet still sometimes funny) mindset. So if Hibbert says "Bosh played tough D, he really got into me tonight"...the immature/childish mindset said "Oh, Chris Bosh had good D? Good dick? He got into you? He had sex with you?" So to clarify that, as a heterosexual male...Hibbert says "no homo" to kill any jokes before they start. You said it immediately after you say the statement that can be taken out of context (i.e. "I didn't do my homework and Mr. Smith was in my ass today in Science class...no homo" or "that cornerback was all over me...no homo")

...to take it a step further. In some parts of the country (NYC is one), rather than saying "no homo"...people say "pause" or "pause that." It means the same thing and they say it the exact same way.

Colin M

June 3rd, 2013 at 6:42 PM ^

The word slur simply refers to a disparaging remark. I know in common usage people typically think of slurs as names like faggot, but that's not the actual definition of the word. Therefore, it's not inaccurate to call 'no homo' a gay slur if you believe that it's derogatory/disparaging.

I laid out the logic of why it is derogatory in a different post, but I think it's pretty obvious. 

Mr. Yost

June 3rd, 2013 at 6:59 PM ^

...but being derogatory isn't make it a "gay slur." I would agree that it may be taken as detrogatory, I'm not one to argue what offends someone. But that doesn't make it a "slur" or a "gay slur." When people say "that's what she/he said"...that's not a "slur" in my opinion. But it can certainly be derogatory. Hell, I'd say the MAJORITY of the time someone says "that's what she said" it's derogatory. Other times it may generalizing women in an offensive way, such as a "slut" or "whore." So is "that's what she said" a slur?

Colin M

June 3rd, 2013 at 7:21 PM ^

It's simply, "a disparaging remark." When you make a derogatory remark about something you are DISPARAGING it. Hence, you've uttered a slur. Pretty basic stuff. You don't explicitly offer an alternate definition, but you seem to be implying that for something to be a slur it has to be a name you can call someone like: wop, faggot or even homo. I'm arguing that's incorrect because multiple dictionaries provide a different definition.

As for your argument that NH is the same as TWSS, I responded to another of your posts and clearly explicated why I believe they're different. Basically, NH implies there is something wrong with being gay. TWSS, however, doesn't really say anything normative about women. It's offensive for two reasons: 1) it makes a crude sexual reference that may offend some people's sensibilities and 2) it refers to women as primarily sexual beings. It clearly does not imply there's anything wrong with being a woman or heterosexual. It's pretty obvious to me that the ubiquity of the phrase "No Homo" stems from the pervasive homosexuality in our culture that is even more pronounced in the hip hop and sporting subcultures where we most often hear it uttered.

Mr. Yost

June 3rd, 2013 at 7:26 PM ^

Because you said that I said NH is the same as TWSS. I never said that. In fact, a few comments down I talk about how they are VERY different. But if that's how you took what I said then no need for further debate because you've completely misunderstood what I said and taken it out of context to make it what YOU want it to be. Not shocking, but not useful in discussion.

Colin M

June 3rd, 2013 at 7:41 PM ^

It's clear that you don't read carefully before you respond, but I wasn't trying to misrepresent your argument. 

You made an argument by analogy in which you seemed to imply that TWSS and NH were in the same category - that is, not slurs. You argued that they share certain commonalities that placed them in the same category. Or at least that's how I understood your argument. I attempted to accurately paraphrase your argument and failed. In my defense, it's pretty easy to misunderstand your arguments, what with all the ellipses and random capitalization, so perhaps you'll consider giving me a pass on this one. 

In any event, you have yet to make a coherent rebuttal to my argument that No Homo clearly meets the dictionary definition of the word 'slur.' Not shocking, but not very useful either.

TMS-Mr. Ace

June 3rd, 2013 at 2:52 PM ^

Because you don't call somebody "no homo". It's not a direct insult. Not saying it is right, but that is the difference between the other words you references in the OP, or any other slur for that matter.


June 3rd, 2013 at 2:58 PM ^

I agree with the fine.  Whether his intent was there or not, using this language is hurtful and Roy Hibbert is a public figure.  I don't know if 75,000 was appropriate given what he said, but the NBA can't afford to be seen as insensitive to this issue.  Anything he says is a direct reflection on the NBA, and the brand needs to be policed.


June 3rd, 2013 at 3:36 PM ^

And even more so because he said it at a postgame presser.

If somebody takes offense at something i say in private, maybe I've damaged the relationship and my own reputation. But if I step up to a microphone after being introduced as a representative of Company X it's a whole different story. There wouldn't be a fine, per se, but that would be sitting in my performance record for years, interfering with raises and promotions and job opportunities, and I suspect that relative to our respective salaries the eventual financial damage would work out at least as bad as Hibbert's $75k.

To his credit, Hibbert seems to have figured things out pretty quickly and his apology seemed completely genuine to me (they usually don't). Between the fine and the apology I don't think any damage was done to the brand at all this time around.


June 3rd, 2013 at 3:35 PM ^

Not defending the comments or the usage of the phrase at all, but to play semantics devil's advocate, it's different because in your example, you're saying that being gay is bad, like being grounded. You're equating someone's sexual orientation with a negative consequence or situation. In the example of "no homo," you're not explicitly making any normative statement about homosexuality. You're not saying it's bad or good or anything. It's meant, generally in a comical sense, to clarify that what you said wasn't meant to sound sexual, and in particular homosexual. The parallel to your above scenario would be something like saying "I love Eddie Vedder, no homo." You're saying "no homo" as a way of clarifying that you aren't romantically in love with the lead singer of Pearl Jam.

One could argue that by going out of your way to clarify that you aren't romantically in love with a guy or that you weren't "stretched" sexually, you're implying that there's something wrong with it, since it needs such explicit clarification.

I think it's a stupid phrase and I get why it is offensive, but to me, it's not the same as equating negatively homosexuality with "badness" (that's gay) or blatantly calling someone a slur (you're a f*g).


June 3rd, 2013 at 4:48 PM ^

This is getting out of control.  A person can think there is something wrong with it.  A person can be it, and a person can think there is something wrong with it.  Just because some people are "it," does not mean that everybody to be ok with "it."  And he was not even saying that he thought there was something wrong with "it," only that he wasn't "it."  And if you can "announce" that you are it, why can't you announce that your not.

What I think on the matter does not matter, what is troubling is that people are now required to think a certain way or face the consequences.  That is troubling to me.   I am not going all Frank Beckmann but come on.  The statement was not even derogatory, it was like a joke, like A JOKE, remember those things.  It wasn't even a statement.

$75,000???  Wow.  Wonder you would get for an overweight quip? 


June 3rd, 2013 at 5:00 PM ^

I, now that I've reached 60, am probably considered an older person. But I simply am not bothered when one of the local 16 year olds calls me "Old School."  I certainly am to him, but he means no disrepect.......no homo, man.  Last I heard the first amendment provided, well you all know what it provided and Hibert's comments were not offensive at all.  The thing, and the only thing that bothers me about certain word useage in America is when only a certain segment of society is able to use them.  If Helen Degenerate were to use the word homo, there would be no problem. If a black uses the N word, there is no problem.  Their allowance to do so is, and it can't be argued, unconstitutional, and that can't be argured because all Americans are guaranteed the right to equal treatment under the law. However, we all no this is bullshit, because certain portions of the population can use words with immunity and if others utter the same nonsense, they can be convicted of hate crimes if used in a menacing manner.  This is fucking ridiculous.   People who get caught up on what the fuck they are called have a hell of a lot more problems than those uttering them.

Colin M

June 3rd, 2013 at 6:05 PM ^

You should ask for a refund from the law school where you learned all those delightful constitutional tidbits, because all that nonsense you just spouted makes you look dumb and racist. Hint: that's bad.


June 3rd, 2013 at 9:21 PM ^

Nothing to do with the first amendment.  It's an issue of how you use language when representing a private business.  He's a very high payed, visible  employee and they have a right to set standards for what is said.  If he doesn't like it he can always do something else.

This is like someone saying something rude and inappropriate in a job interview and wondering why they didn't get the job - certainly nothing illegal was done.  As great as twitter is one downside is a loss of perspective as to what language is acceptable and where to use it - everything goes anywhere, anytime.

All of these things can be said somewhere, but you do have to understand where are you are and who's listening.

Colin M

June 3rd, 2013 at 6:35 PM ^

I feel like you need to review the definition of the word derogatory. When the speaker adds the "no homo" disclaimer he is going out of the way to clarify he isn't gay, like not even a little bit. Clearly, the implication is that it would be wrong/bad/embarrassing/weak/unmanly to be gay, otherwise it wouldn't make sense to go out of your way to dissasociate yourself with homosexuality. By implying that something is bad you are detracting from its character and standing. This isn't really that complicated.

Also, the fact that Hibbert's comment was meant in a joking fashion doesn't have much bearing on whether or not the comment is derogatory towards something or some group of people. Racist jokes are derogatory even though they're jokes. Typically, some people find them humurous while others simultaneously find them offensive. 


June 3rd, 2013 at 9:57 PM ^

nothing homosexual happened, or they are not homosexual, without implying that homosexuality is wrong?

I agree the term "no homo" is a sexual reference in a context that wouldn't otherwise be (much like "that's what she said") and therefore is best not used in front of a general audience microphone like this.

I think he should have been fined for a sexual reference rather than a slur.


June 3rd, 2013 at 11:33 PM ^

A person cannot be motivated to needlessly clarify that "nothing homosexual happened" (etc.) without some preference for avoiding the conclusion that it did. And a person cannot have that preference without being objectionably biased.

I'd be surprised if anybody who understood the first sentence disagreed with it. Presumably disagreements will be about the word "objectionably" in the second sentence. But if you just look around, you'll see all the objections.


June 4th, 2013 at 12:28 AM ^

"A person cannot be motivated to needlessly clarify that 'nothing homosexual happened' (etc.) without some preference for avoiding the conclusion that it did."

Says who? People speak needlessly all the time, especially when it comes to jokes. Was there ever a joke that had to be said?


June 4th, 2013 at 2:54 AM ^

Joking and clarifying are different speech acts. You could use "no homo" to joke without clarifying: if you were discussing gay sex, for instance, you wouldn't really be clarifying that you weren't gay, but lampooning those who do feel the need to clarify: "Then my boyfriend and I gave each other blow jobs--no homo." (I think that would actually be a funny occasion to use the phrase.)

Can you joke and clarify at the same time? It has to be pretty meta. Like, look at this funny clarification I made. Norms of masculinity require me to clarify, but I think that's silly, so I'll clarify mockingly. I think the thing that people who find the phrase really offensive will say is that this kind of joking just reinforces the norms it's supposed to satirize, whereas the way to move forward is to stop invoking the norms. But I don't know. I don't actually find it personally offensive--I just think it's obviously homophobic and has no place in public discourse. The main reason I think it has no place there is that what you intend to suggest by the clarification, joking or not, requires insight into your mind that others can't have when it comes to speech in the media by public figures. Many--both gay and virulently anti-gay--will inevitably interpret it as an anti-gay utterance so that it will have harmful effects in shaming the former and encouraging the latter, no matter the private intent.


June 3rd, 2013 at 10:41 PM ^

I agree that the manner he said the statement (as a joke) led to a more offensive understanding of the statement, however I disagree that his view that being gay would be wrong has anything to do with being offensive.  He's allowed his right to an opinion.

Perhaps he holds a conservative Christian viewpoint on homosexuality?  Are you trying to then say that he can no longer hold to his beliefs simply because they don't mesh with everyone else's point of view - that it would be offensive?  Perhaps, to him, homosexuality is offensive?  Regardless of our viewpoints (and whether most believe they are right or wrong), we have a right to them.

While I believe that the statement was stupid and immature, I don't beieve it warranted a $75k fine.  But that's my opinion.  Obviously, Stern had a different view - and that's his right.

I think the problem we're running into with the homosexuality issue is that, despite the best efforts of those who believe it's a natural sexual orientation, a majority of America does not subscribe to that belief privately.  However, because they DO want to (publicly) be accepted, they tip-toe around the issue and offer up minor support.  We see these examples of slip-ups all over the place.

It's sad that we're in a country that was built on diversity of opinion, but unity of spirit, and yet we can't seem to allow ourselves those rights we used to be so adamant about.

That all being said - and I'm sure parts will be taken completely out of context or misunderstood - it is never acceptable to allow hatred/abuse in the name of an opinion.  Simply not agreeing with someone's sexuality choices is not hatred - it's simply a different opinion.  As long as you're not infringing on others' rights, you should be entitled to their own opinion.


June 3rd, 2013 at 11:35 PM ^

It's sad that we're in a country that was built on diversity of opinion, but unity of spirit, and yet we can't seem to allow ourselves those rights we used to be so adamant about.

Please name some of these rights. Be specific. ("Freedom of speech" doesn't work because you've never been free to say whatever you want without any restriction. "Freedom to casually demean homosexuals" would work, if it had ever been a right that we were once adamant about.)


June 4th, 2013 at 1:32 AM ^

I take issue with your tone, but I'll give you this response.

I believe that both Freedom of Speech AND Freedom of Religion are starting to come under fire as the nation trends towards secular culture. In addition, our Right to Bear Arms is also being tested.

That's as far as I'm going on this thread to avoid getting a ban hammer. You can take issue with my stance all you want. That's what makes America better. Like I said, we thrive on diversity of opinion, but unity of spirit.

We both agree that Hibbert made comments that were unbecoming, and even hurtful to some. However, I do not subscribe to the "please everyone" philosophy because it's impossible. Literally impossible. I try my best to always do what's right. Sometimes that involves getting called names. I have no doubt that I will never be able to fully identify, as a straight man, with a gay man. My hope always, however, is that love wins out in the end - and that we both could find common ground to help lessen the hurt caused on both sides.


June 4th, 2013 at 2:42 AM ^

You named three rights, one of which I'd antecedently ruled out as insufficiently specific, and one of which could not be less relevant to this discussion. (If you were going to name random constitutional amendments, you might have included others currently under more serious attack, but never mind that.) Maybe we can get some mileage out of the idea that freedoms of speech and religion are under attack. I guess it goes something like this:

"My religion says homosexuality (or just homosexual behavior) is bad, so my right to freedom of religion requires that I be free to disapprove of it. My right to freedom of speech requires that I be free to voice my opinions. So my rights to freedom of religion and freedom of speech jointly require that I be free to voice my disapproval of homosexuality (or just homosexual behavior)."

But of course you're free to do so. Nobody's going to put you in jail. You can join the KKK, too. But it's a rather long step from the reasoning above to the idea that you should be able to go around freely saying things that demean others without any social or professional consequences. Do you have an argument for that? Or do you deny that the language is demeaning?


June 4th, 2013 at 7:26 AM ^

I simply stated that many of the rights we held dear seem to be less and less "rights" anymore. That was because you snarkily requested I come up with some i believe are under attack. I agree with your statements regarding free apeech, wholeheartedly, however I don't really appreciate YOU taking the very large step from a religion-based belief regarding homosexuality and associating it on the same level with joining the KKK. You literally just proved my point. It doesn't matter what we hold dear (sexual preference, religious preference, etc.), if someone doesn't agree they will generally be ok with that being mocked or demeaned because they don't value that belief. There's a big gap from oh, let's say, a person saying "I believe homosexuality is wrong because it says so in my religion" to "being anything but a Caucasian is wrong." People may try to equate them to further their cause, but it's a poor argument.

The bottom line for me is this: I don't agree with others view at all times. While I hold the right to voice my opinion about said views, it's not always prudent. We've gotten way out of context here, because as I mentioned before, Hibbert's use of "no homo" was not appropriate. I don't think he actively used it in a hateful manner, but that's my opinion. I believe there are much more offensive statements going unnoticed/ignored everyday. I'm not here to demean anyone or force my views on anyone, but I don't have to agree with yours just because you're more vocal about them.

MI Expat NY

June 3rd, 2013 at 4:57 PM ^

I agree that Hibbert used it in the "that's what she said" mode of noting the inadvertent double entendre, but the phrase origins, at least implicity, if not explicitly, absolutely do make normative statements about homosexuality.  Basically a man can't say another man looks good without giving the impression that he's gay, and one can't have that, so you quickly add "no homo."  It says that there's something bad about being gay and that any implication of homosexuality, no matter how inplausible, must be quickly shot down.  

Really, it's just unfortunate that the term sometimes used to note double entendres spawns from ignorance.  I don't think Hibbert meant anything bad, but I understand and agree with the NBA doing what it can to rid its culture of the term.  I also think, if Hibbert had followed it up with a pitch-perfect "not that there's anything wrong with that," he would have been home free without a fine.


June 4th, 2013 at 3:33 AM ^

Bingo. "No homo" is clearly used to imply that it would be a bad thing if it was indeed "homo." The rampant and accepted use of the phrase on this blog has frustrated me for years (I commented to this effect a few times in the past) and I found it surprising that such an otherwise intelligent and socially conscious community saw nothing wrong with the phrase (and I guess many still don't). 

This is more like people using the term "gay" to mean "lame" than it is like TWSS, which doesn't really offend anyone. 

Ali G Bomaye

June 3rd, 2013 at 5:02 PM ^

Saying "no homo" also implies that being gay is a negative trait.  f Hibbert stops to clarify that he's not homosexual, even in a joking way, the implication is that being homosexual is bad.  Otherwise, why would he select that as a point to clarify?

What if I said "I like playing basketball, but I'm not a black guy."  That would be at least somewhat offensive, right?  Wouldn't it make you wonder why I would want to make sure that you didn't think I was a black guy, or why I thought you might think I was a black guy just because I said I like playing basketball?

"No homo" works the same way.  If I say "I love Eddie Vedder," you're probably not going to think that I'm in a romantic relationship with Eddie Vedder unless you happen to be in middle school and that's the way your brain works.  But if I say "I love Eddie Vedder, no homo," it places importance on the fact that I don't want to be seen as gay, even though that really didn't have anything to do with the original statement.


June 3rd, 2013 at 3:45 PM ^

I think "that's gay" is more offensive.

I first learned about no homo from 4chan's /fit/ board back in 2009 and 2010. People would post pics of their progress or current bodies and others would give feedback, which if positive or especially glowing, was often post-scripted with no homo. It was not considered offensive because it is 4chan and most posts on those types of boards go for brevity, but also because there is no negative association with homosexuality, other than the possible negative interpretation of the word "homo."

Mr. Yost

June 3rd, 2013 at 6:38 PM ^

...but I would agree. Saying "that's gay" is much more offensive. When you're saying "no homo" really all you're saying is "I'm not gay" in a hurtful/inappropriate/offensive manner. You're not putting down anyone who IS gay, you're just saying you're not. OR you're saying that you didn't mean anything that can be taken in a homosexual nature. "LeBron gave him that D in game 5...no homo." You're just saying I mean "defense," get your mind out the gutter...not "dick," I didn't mean that to have a gay connotation if you took it that way.


June 3rd, 2013 at 4:51 PM ^

There's a difference between a private conversation between 2 friends and a post-game press conference, which if you are a professional athlete is comparable to a business meeting for most of us.  I'm pretty sure if I uttered the phrase "No homo" in a business meeting, the company I work for would not be happy.

Also, consider this: Substitute a racial or ethnic slur for "homo"...  I think the penalty would be at least as severe.


June 3rd, 2013 at 6:42 PM ^

I'm still young, only a Senior in high school, and my aunt asked me if kids still said "that's gay" because she had heard her 12 year old son say it. I've heard that phrase forever, and my dad said it, and his dad said it too. It does not seem as offensive to me because it's been around me forever, but I said "that's gay" in a front of a kid who was gay once and he did not mind. In my opinion, this country is just going soft.

Mr. Yost

June 3rd, 2013 at 7:04 PM ^

It's A LOT different. I feel a homosexual person would even agree with that. Not saying he/she wouldn't be offended by both...but it's definitely different. Just like using the "n-word" and "colored" may both offend an African American or Black person, but it doesn't mean they're the same.