The NBA has levied its decision. Following a shockingly candid press conference during which Indiana’s Roy Hibbert called reporters “motherf@#$ers” and later said “no homo,” the league announced today that it is fining the Pacers center $75,000.
“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,” NBA Commissioner David Stern said in a news release, via USA Today.
Stern is talking about the apology Hibbert issued on Sunday morning. Saturday’s Game 6 victory in Indiana forced what promises to be an intense final game in the Eastern Conference Finals, and Hibbert was obviously still caught up in the heat of the moment.
However, he understands that does not excuse his words.
“I am apologizing for insensitive remarks made during the postgame press conference after our victory over Miami Saturday night,” Hibbert said. “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.”
Even for guys making millions of dollars a year, 75 grand is nothing to sneeze at. At the very least, Hibbert will think twice before making such a statement in the future.
Hopefully, the first openly gay NBA player, Jason Collins, will help educate him a little bit as well.