The Los Angeles Lakers posted this statement from Kobe Bryant after he called a referee a "faggot" in last night's game:
What I said last night should not be taken literally. My actions were out of frustration during the heat of the game, period. The words expressed do NOT reflect my feelings towards the gay and lesbian communities and were NOT meant to offend anyone.
First, it's not an apology. Essentially he's saying, "All you faggots need to chill out. I didn't mean it that way." Call me crazy, but that isn't the same as, "I'm deeply sorry for what I did. I'll make amends." I just got an email from GLAAD, which is framing his statement as an apology; I hope they change their tune.
Second, Kobe clearly doesn't get it. His words, using an anti-gay slur to demean someone, reinforces the notion in sports that gays are weak and that the last thing you'd ever want to be in sports is gay. But he doesn't get that. He thinks because he has a gay friend that his actions aren't homophobic.
I hope the Lakers and NBA see through his statement. Saying, "I didn't mean it that way" just isn't enough anymore.