Not cool

Posted: Thursday, April 14, 2011 by Travis Cody in

I'm a fan of the Lakers.  I'm a fan of Kobe Bryant.

But there are times when both really make me shake my head and wonder.

During Tuesday night's game in LA against San Antonio, Mr Bryant used a gay slur to express his displeasure with referee Bernie Adams.

Not cool.

Yesterday, Mr Bryant issued this statement:
"What I said last night should not be taken literally," he said. "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."

Not cool.

Mr Bryant further explained himself on ESPN 710's Mason & Ireland radio show:
"The comment that I made, even though it wasn't meant in the way it was perceived to be, is nonetheless wrong, so it's important to own that," Bryant said on Mason & Ireland.

Bryant added: "The concern that I have is for those that follow what I say and are inspired by how I play or look to me as a role model or whatever it is, for them not to take what is said as a message of hate or a license to degrade or embarrass or tease. That's something I don't want to see happen. It's important for me to talk about that issue because it's OK to be who you are, and I don't want this issue to be a part of something or to magnify something that shouldn't be."

Not cool.

Dude, you said what you said and I don't care what the situation was.

You said what you said.

Don't use the heat of the moment excuse for what you said.  Don't try to explain what you didn't mean to do.  You don't really own what you said if you have to jump through a lot of hoops to explain it away.

A real apology is simple...You say you're sorry for the unacceptable and inappropriate things you said.  You unequivocally say that there is no excuse for what you said.  You apologize to the LGBTQ community, and to everyone who heard or read about what you said, without qualification.

Real apologies have to contain a mea culpa.  You've got to apologize for what you did or said.  Then you've got to take steps to prevent the same mistake.

Do that.  Own that.  Be that example.

Otherwise, you're just a guy who gets to say whatever the hell comes to mind in any given situation, and fall back on putting the onus on those who may have been offended by the behavior to decide whether they accept your "statement" as honest.

And that's just not cool.


  1. Linda says:

    So totally not cool. But so totally very well said. People, celebrities or not, need to take responsibility for their actions and their words and "own it" properly and not just come up with lame excuses.

    Mr. Bryant should remember, "It is what it is." End of story.

  1. Jamie says:

    This is the primary reason I firmly believe that you shouldn't swear, use epithets etc. in front of children. Not because I'm some kind of prude or don't know the words, but because brains are computers and at some point they will spit out whatever has been loaded into the programming whatever the immediate intention.

  1. Anonymous says:

    I concur! Note cool. Sorry is sorry without the 'buts'.

  1. I know you're a fan; I'm not. I never have been. So to be honest, his backhanded apology doesn't surprise me. Aside from my cynicism, though, it occurs to me that famous people have a problem with apologies because they thrive on the attention that is given then (despite whatever meager humbleness they may appear to show). Apologies are not their comfort zone, so the know NOT how to give a genuine apology.

  1. I've generally not been a fan of his but I don't really watch basketball much anyway. I've just seen a lot of arrogance on the part of atheletes that bothers me.

  1. Uncool, tastless, and tacky. I would say jackass comes to mind but that would be not cool. Own it buddy! And learn some self control!

  1. jennifer says:

    Trying to BS your way around things really isn't cool. It's kind of like another offense, implying that I am going to buy it.

  1. It's not unusual, in this society to try to minimize our actions or explain away our words, rather than a simple admission of inappropriate behavior and an apology.
    No one is accusing Kobe of anything other than inappropriate language. It's like the buy who behaves like an angel in the presence of his mother, and swears like a sailor in the presence of his friends. It's just not cool.

  1. I'm just sick of professional athletes, overall. They get paid far too much to PLAY A GAME while people go hungry, sick & homeless. How are those games more important that our childrens' education? That's not even getting into their illegal activities. Don't get me started! I just don't get our society, quite honestly.
    Sorry for my recent absence, btw. Spring's the busiest time of year for my visual arts business & I've been taking full advantage.