Friday, April 15, 2011

Words aren't always weapons

            All this media attention directed at Kobe Bryant and his use of a specific homosexual word on the bench the other night is getting a little ridiculous.
            Am I the only one who is being somewhat level-headed over this?  It sure seems that way.
Outside the Lines today had Stephen A. Smith, Herman Edwards, LZ Granderson and John Ireland on the show discussing Kobe’s actions.  For the most part, Smith, Edwards and Ireland were being reasonable about the topic.  However, Granderson – an openly gay sports writer – obviously had issues with it.
The point Granderson was trying to make was that Kobe had this “F” word deep inside of his heart and his mind and specifically chose to use that word at that exact time of his blowup.  He was basically saying that Kobe was gay-bashing on purpose and knew what point he was trying to get across.
Smith, who I found myself siding with, argued that while he agreed the word should never be used, said that Kobe wasn’t necessarily calling the referee a homosexual and that he didn’t have some deep-rooted agenda against the gay community.  Furthermore, Smith said there was no way Granderson could tell what Kobe was thinking and therefore shouldn’t be judging him so quickly.
Ireland, who is a co-host of a radio show and is a Lakers sideline reporter, said that he had probably heard the word being used four or five times this season – none of which came from Kobe Bryant.  He also pointed out that people like Kenyon Martin have used it before and was never even suspended for it.
I really don’t get what the big deal is.  I understand that Kobe’s choice of words weren’t exactly the best, especially when it is a live broadcast and so many cameras are focused on your every move.  But seriously, I couldn’t count the number of times I have heard someone use the word throughout my lifetime for whatever reason.
I agree.  It’s not a nice word and there is really no place for it.  But sometimes stuff happens and people say things.  In my generation, we tend to use a whole variety of words.  It is almost like mad-libs.  Just because Kobe called the ref a homosexual doesn’t mean he is a homophobe.  He very well could have called him a ‘Richard Cranium’ or a loser or a nerd or a fill-in-the-blank with any noun of your choosing.
The notion that Kobe had this predetermined word in his mind and used it at that very moment to describe his true feelings about the referee is downright absurd.  He slipped up and said a word that he shouldn’t have said.  That doesn’t make him a gay-basher.  It doesn’t make him a homophobe.
People need to stop being so thin-skinned, regardless of your beliefs.  What if Kobe called the referee a donkey molester?  Would the people at PETA have flipped out too?
            What’s that old phrase?  ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.’  Well, then man-up already.

No comments:

Post a Comment