NBA Star Calls Out Homophobia On Twitter

One of the most famous players in the National Basketball Association, Kobe Bryant, took to Twitter on Sunday to tell a fan to stop using ‘gay’ as an insult.

After a man identifying as Michael on Twitter tweeted “you’re gay” at another person, the LA Lakers shooting guard called them both out on Twitter — in a tweet that elicited over 3,000 retweets and 2,000 favorites:

Bryant has clearly come a long way from a few years ago, when he called the referee at a game a “fucking fag.” That action incurred a $100,000 fine from the NBA, and actually prompted the Lakers to film a Public Service Announcement about using ‘gay’ as an insult. Someone on Twitter called Bryant out on that during Sunday’s interaction, and Bryant jumped to point out how that experience informed his opinion:

Compared to the hostility toward gay people in other sports, the NBA has been relatively progressive about LGBT issues. Just last week, Denver Nuggets player Kenneth Faried came out for marriage equality in his team’s state of Colorado. Major NBA figureheads, such as former All-Star Charles Barkley, have voiced support for same-sex marriage, acknowledging that, “I had gay teammates.” The NBA, of its own volition, even partnered with the Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network to film a whole series of PSAs about not using ‘gay’ to insult someone.