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Kobe Bryant wipes the steam off the mirror. It's Wednesday Morning and Kobe isn't looking ahead towards tonight's game against the Kings. Instead, he keeps flashing back to what happened the night before. Most athletes would dream of being on SportsCenter and having Scott Van Pelt and the team of slightly humorous anchors and "experts" fawn over them; however, right now, he just wishes he could get away from it all.

In the mirror, he doesn't see the face of a five-time world champion, but of a semi-guilty conscious. He fights with himself. "Everybody does it!" he tries convincing himself. Yet, that's what Alex Rodriguez said when he took steroids and when your wife convinced you to buy a granite kitchen counter top. You really should have seen Laurie's kitchen too..

It amazes him the effect that one word has on his fans, his team, his family, doubtfully his entourage, but most of all, what amazes him, is the influence he has on his youngest crowd: your children, your brother, or your friend. I'm referring to the ones running outside in the school yard everyday, all day, imitating his crazy dunks, and counting down from five and then taking a shot at one. Now what? Imitate his offensive language and rage issues? Sure athletes get arrested for DUI and start fights at raunchy bars while the rest of the country is in deep sleep, so why does Kobe's anti-gay slur hold greater meaning?

All 4 feet and 65 pounds of basketball fan wearing a Laker's jersey in Oregon was watching. He wasn't watching what Kobe was doing off the court, but rather on the court, as he used one of the most derogatory phrases attacking a sexual orientation (that is affiliated with many and supported by many more.) Maybe you should think twice before buying an 11 foot fathead of Kobe Bryant to place near a papa-shot for your nephew. Yet, in this era of performance enhancing drugs, salaries you would have to work 257.65 years to earn, gangs and entourages, and spygate, who is there for America's youth to look up to in professional sports?

Comment #1 has been removed
April 24, 2011  11:07 PM ET
QUOTE(#1):

Every kid can all look up to Tim Duncan. He went to college for 4 years even though he could have left early and Tim Duncan has always been a class act. Even MeBron James could learn plenty from Mr. Duncan.

Tim Duncan is a class act. Lebron James? I respect his decision more to go to Miami more than a lot of people. Everybody always bashes James for having the show "the decision." I understand that the line, "I'm going to take my talents to South Beach" makes James look completely self centered. However, his agent probably thought it would be a good idea for them to have it because all the funds raised by the show's sponsors would go to the Boys & Girls club of America. James was interviewed midway through the season and was asked if he would change anything about the last couple months. He said he wouldn't change his decision to go to Miami but might have changed the way he went about making the decision (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTeCc8jy7FI). I think this interview revealed to the rest of the world that maybe, after all, LeBron is somewhat genuine. The bottom line is that aside from the decision, James has never infamously been on TMZ and has never met Pacman Jones or half of the Cincinnati Bengals off the field.


Take Ken Griffey Jr. for example. Although Junior forwent college, he provided the Seattle Mariners with the reason why five year olds fell in love with the game in the first place. With him, it was never really about the money or the best endorsement deals but for the love of the game. The backwards hats, the smile, and the nineteen year old mustache that took Seattle billboards to a different level.

Read more: http://www.fannation.com/blogs/post/826585#ixzz1KV6CQgKq

April 24, 2011  11:39 PM ET

Very well written blog. Kobe's defnitely no saint.
The gay slur actually seems like a minor failing compared to his cheating on his hot wife with that dirty tramp (if that's indeed ALL it was).

April 25, 2011  12:04 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

Very well written blog. Kobe's defnitely no saint.The gay slur actually seems like a minor failing compared to his cheating on his hot wife with that dirty tramp (if that's indeed ALL it was).

hahah I was going to include that but I figured it wasn't worth it with all the "he said, she said drama." Valid point nonetheless.

April 25, 2011  12:36 AM ET

Their are plenty of athletes for kids to look up to in professional sports. But don't you think it's elsewhere that kids should look as far as a role model. I have always loved sports. I grew up admiring Steve Young and Brett Favre. But i never tried to turn Mormon or get addicted to pills. Kids admire what athletes do on the court.

Don't blame athletes for how kids act. Thats a lame and worn out argument. (not to take away from your blog it was well written i'm just disagreeing with the stance).

I think people need to relax and not take so much offense to language. The meaning of words change over time. Theirs actually a great south park episode about the word Kobe used.

April 25, 2011  01:47 AM ET
QUOTE(#5):

Their are plenty of athletes for kids to look up to in professional sports. But don't you think it's elsewhere that kids should look as far as a role model. I have always loved sports. I grew up admiring Steve Young and Brett Favre. But i never tried to turn Mormon or get addicted to pills. Kids admire what athletes do on the court. Don't blame athletes for how kids act. Thats a lame and worn out argument. (not to take away from your blog it was well written i'm just disagreeing with the stance).I think people need to relax and not take so much offense to language. The meaning of words change over time. Theirs actually a great south park episode about the word Kobe used.

You said, "Kids admire what athletes do on the court." What Kobe said was on live television and offended a lot of people. Yes, they say the meaning of words change over time, but try telling that to the 4,960 completed suicides among US youth aged 15 to 24 years of age since 1993 or the fact that 50% of suicides can be attributed to homosexuals. I guarantee that having Kobe Bryant substitute their sexual orientation for a curse word won't decrease that statistic.

April 25, 2011  03:06 AM ET

I'm surprised he wasn't suspended for 1 game.

April 25, 2011  12:45 PM ET

Athletes are not role models.

Maybe you should look up to your parents.

April 25, 2011  12:46 PM ET
QUOTE(#6):

You said, "Kids admire what athletes do on the court." What Kobe said was on live television and offended a lot of people. Yes, they say the meaning of words change over time, but try telling that to the 4,960 completed suicides among US youth aged 15 to 24 years of age since 1993 or the fact that 50% of suicides can be attributed to homosexuals. I guarantee that having Kobe Bryant substitute their sexual orientation for a curse word won't decrease that statistic.

People are imperfect.

April 25, 2011  12:52 PM ET
QUOTE(#10):

Athletes are not role models. Maybe you should look up to your parents.

Yes, but are kids jumping up and down in front of the TV imitating your dad sitting at a desk job?

April 25, 2011  01:22 PM ET
QUOTE(#12):

Yes, but are kids jumping up and down in front of the TV imitating your dad sitting at a desk job?

LOL, looking forward to that.

April 25, 2011  01:53 PM ET
QUOTE(#6):

You said, "Kids admire what athletes do on the court." What Kobe said was on live television and offended a lot of people. Yes, they say the meaning of words change over time, but try telling that to the 4,960 completed suicides among US youth aged 15 to 24 years of age since 1993 or the fact that 50% of suicides can be attributed to homosexuals. I guarantee that having Kobe Bryant substitute their sexual orientation for a curse word won't decrease that statistic.

What Kobe said on the TV offended nobody because we couldn't hear it. What he mouthed offended people because the media decided to focus in on him and then replay the clip thousands of times.

It's not like he is corrupting kids. If kids didn't know the word before they would still have no clue what he was mouthing. Athletes today are no worse then the past. They are just 1000 times more under the microscope with the addiction of new technologies in the media world.

Kobe wasn't using the word to describe someone gay. So please don't bring up the suicide stats. He wasn't attacking a group of people. The word was around many years before it took on an offensive meaning, and has evolved into a word that has passed the negative reaction that has people flip out.

I guarantee it will not increase that statistic.

April 25, 2011  02:05 PM ET
QUOTE(#15):

What Kobe said on the TV offended nobody because we couldn't hear it. What he mouthed offended people because the media decided to focus in on him and then replay the clip thousands of times. It's not like he is corrupting kids. If kids didn't know the word before they would still have no clue what he was mouthing. Athletes today are no worse then the past. They are just 1000 times more under the microscope with the addiction of new technologies in the media world.Kobe wasn't using the word to describe someone gay. So please don't bring up the suicide stats. He wasn't attacking a group of people. The word was around many years before it took on an offensive meaning, and has evolved into a word that has passed the negative reaction that has people flip out. I guarantee it will not increase that statistic.

why won't the statistic increase?

April 25, 2011  02:18 PM ET
QUOTE(#11):

People are imperfect.

You can tell that to the Laker's back-up forward Derrick Caracter, who as arrested and jailed early Sunday for hitting a pregnant waitress at a downtown International House of Pancakes while drunk, according to police.

http://mobile.nola.com/advnola/pm_103995/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=te4 ARtpd

April 25, 2011  02:40 PM ET
QUOTE(#5):

Their are plenty of athletes for kids to look up to in professional sports. But don't you think it's elsewhere that kids should look as far as a role model. I have always loved sports. I grew up admiring Steve Young and Brett Favre. But i never tried to turn Mormon or get addicted to pills. Kids admire what athletes do on the court. Don't blame athletes for how kids act. Thats a lame and worn out argument. (not to take away from your blog it was well written i'm just disagreeing with the stance).I think people need to relax and not take so much offense to language. The meaning of words change over time. Theirs actually a great south park episode about the word Kobe used.

As a coach, kids do look up to athletes. I make sure they understand some actions are acceptable and some are not. If they want to work hard at being the best that they can be, they have no problems. If they want to taunt and act the fool, they sit and learn by watching. If they don't agree with this, they are more than welcome to leave the team.

April 25, 2011  02:42 PM ET

Role model? How about we just do the right thing and not worry about what some basketball player is doing?

April 25, 2011  02:48 PM ET
QUOTE(#16):

why won't the statistic increase?

why would it increase?

April 25, 2011  03:04 PM ET
QUOTE(#20):

why would it increase?

It's bullying. If someone called you ugly, your feelings would be hurt. If that kid got 30 kids together and they all called you ugly and beat you up, then you would really feel hurt. Then Kobe Bryant mouths to a referee out of frustration. "I hate ugly kids" (instead of the gay slur). Well, not only do you feel bullied by the kids at your school, but now, one of the biggest stars in the country who a lot of kids look up to, has send them the message that if they want to be "cool" they should hate ugly kids too. America's youth is influenced by Kobe's words. Now, you feel as if the whole world is against you.

Kobe, along with many other factors, helped that statistic increase.

April 25, 2011  03:40 PM ET
QUOTE(#21):

It's bullying. If someone called you ugly, your feelings would be hurt. If that kid got 30 kids together and they all called you ugly and beat you up, then you would really feel hurt. Then Kobe Bryant mouths to a referee out of frustration. "I hate ugly kids" (instead of the gay slur). Well, not only do you feel bullied by the kids at your school, but now, one of the biggest stars in the country who a lot of kids look up to, has send them the message that if they want to be "cool" they should hate ugly kids too. America's youth is influenced by Kobe's words. Now, you feel as if the whole world is against you. Kobe, along with many other factors, helped that statistic increase.

Thats insane. How does someone calling someone who isn't gay a **** effect people who are not involved in the situation whatsoever?

Your example is crazy. So apparently no movies, tv shows, music nor any individual are no longer allowed to make a joke or talk about anything (weight, looks, ..) because somewhere someone else may have been made fun of and they may somehow interpret a word used in a completely different way and different scenario as though its a personal attack on them.

Kobe didn't send a message to bash gays, he sent a message to attack refs. So if players suddenly start calling refs or footlocker employees **** more then before maybe i'll buy that.

 
April 25, 2011  03:45 PM ET
QUOTE(#22):

Thats insane. How does someone calling someone who isn't gay a **** effect people who are not involved in the situation whatsoever? Your example is crazy. So apparently no movies, tv shows, music nor any individual are no longer allowed to make a joke or talk about anything (weight, looks, ..) because somewhere someone else may have been made fun of and they may somehow interpret a word used in a completely different way and different scenario as though its a personal attack on them. Kobe didn't send a message to bash gays, he sent a message to attack refs. So if players suddenly start calling refs or footlocker employees **** more then before maybe i'll buy that.

either way you look at it, Kobe needs to watch his language. If it was about attacking refs, then David Stern wouldn't have fined him $100,000 in the first place.

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