Update: On Friday, the NBA fined Thomas $40,000 for using “derogatory and disparaging language during a live TV interview.”
Original story: Brooklyn Nets guard Cam Thomas apologized Thursday after uttering the anti-gay slur “no homo” in a TV broadcast after the Nets beat the Chicago Bulls.
The context: This week the Nets traded away star Kyrie Irving to the Dallas Mavericks for Spencer Dinwiddie and Dorian Finney-Smith. At his first Nets news conference after the trade, with Finney-Smith sitting next to him, Dinwiddie joked: “We may not be the best trade package, but we’re the best looking, and the Nets needed some help in that department.”
When asked on TNT about Didwiddie’s comment, Thomas said: “I seen it, but I was like, ‘He just talking.’ We already had good-looking dudes, no homo.”
TNT’s sideline reporter Jared Greenberg picked up on the quote and said, “All right, I’m certain the league office will enjoy that one.”
Cam Thomas: "We already had good looking guys, no homo."pic.twitter.com/2SAsuq36EX— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) February 10, 2023
Realizing what he just stepped into, Thomas took to Twitter to apologize, saying, “I want to apologize for the insensitive word I used in the post-game interview. I was excited about the win and was being playful. I definitely didn’t intend to offend anyone, but realize that I probably did. My apologies again. Much love.”
I want to apologize for the insensitive word I used in the post-game interview. I was excited about the win and was being playful. I definitely didn't intend to offend anyone, but realize that I probably did. My apologies again. Much love ❤️— Cam Thomas (@24_camthomas) February 10, 2023
As apologies go, it’s better than most, but his “no homo” comment was still offensive and uttering it shows how front-of-mind it was, lest someone think complimenting another man’s look was somehow gay.
Last year, a young NBA fan compiled 78 homophobic tweets sent by 36 players that were still live on their Twitter feeds and found 17 instances of “no homo.” As the fan told us, “‘No homo’ as a phrase promotes a negative connotation in regards to gay men, as if we are less-than. It’s still extremely harmful and anyone who thinks otherwise needs to wake up.”
If precedent holds, Thomas will be fined. In 2018, Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic was fined $25,000 by the NBA for saying “no homo” during a post-game interview on Halloween.