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NBA's Tony Parker apologizes for using gay slur during European basketball playoffs

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Tony Parker, left.
Tony Parker, left.
Christof Koepsel

Tony Parker of the NBA's San Antonio Spurs, playing for his home country France, was caught on a microphone uttering a gay slur during the semifinals of the 2013 European basketball semifinals this weekend.

"J'ai l'impression qu'on avait peur, qu'on jouait comme des 'tapettes,' " Parker said in the first half of what became an overtime win over Spain. "Tapettes" is a gay slur that translates into sissy, pansy, fairy or fag. Whatever the exact translation, it's a gay slur.

"I'd like to apologize to the gay community. I did not want to offend them," Parker said at a press conference in Ljubljana, Slovenia, where the event was held. He added: "If I have offended the gay community, I apologize it was not my intention at all. It is not right to say what I said I'm sorry and apologize."

The NBA has fined players for using gay slurs before, though I am not sure if the league could claim jurisdiction for something said at another event. In any case, it's still sad that some athletes still resort to using a gay slur to describe bad play or weakness, especially someone of the stature and longevity of Parker.

For the record, France went on to beat Lithuania in the European final.

Hat tip to Marc Naimark.