Another gay slur shows sports still has ways to go

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Should Congress make English the official language of the U.S.?

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Enough with the excuses.

Let’s no longer cut any slack to an athlete who blurts out hateful, hurtful words about gays, even if they are really just upset with the refs or egged on by some moronic fan. Let’s no longer tolerate those who think it’s OK to throw around homophobic banter in a testosterone-fueled locker room, that no harm is intended when male athletes jokingly call out someone’s sexual preference.

It’s not acceptable anywhere, at any time, under any circumstances.

Got it?

It’s time to deliver a stronger edict to every basketball, baseball, football and hockey player: If you insist on using the “f” word, no matter the provocation, you’ll be assured of watching at least a game or two from the comfort of your hopefully soundproof living room. That way, at least, you can scream whatever you want and the rest of us don’t have to hear it.

The NBA has taken strong steps to stamp out anti-gay attitudes, but it dropped the ball twice on Monday. Joakim Noah of the Chicago Bulls was fined $50,000 for spitting out that most hateful of gay slurs while going at it with a heckler during a playoff game in Miami.

Not enough, and the league looked even worse when it said Kobe Bryant was fined twice as much last month for a similar offense because he used it during a dispute with a referee.

Huh? That word is offensive, no matter the company.

The league would have been better served taking a page … from itself.

Remember when the NBA could’ve stood for National Brawling Association? That sort of ugliness doesn’t happen anymore, because now players know they’ll be suspended for leaving the bench.

There should be suspensions for words as well as punches, and not just in the NBA.

“It isn’t OK to say it was unintentional,” said Jarrett Barrios, president of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). “Players cannot use this language, just like they can’t and don’t use language about race and religion to show their frustration with a player, fan or referee. It’s not OK. It’s never OK.”

You use it, you sit _ without pay.

That goes for you, Kobe. Sure, you apologized, paid a $100,000 fine and even taped a public-service announcement after using that awful word to show your frustration over a referee’s call.

Next time, you’re out for a while.

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