US basketball star Joakim Noah has been fined $50,000 (£30,968) for calling a rival fan a “faggot”.

The Chicago Bulls star, whose team lost to Miami Heat in the NBA play-offs on Sunday, was caught on camera saying “f**k you faggot” to the fan.

He apologised yesterday, saying he made the comment in the “heat of the moment” after the fan had said something insulting to him.

The NBA, announcing the fining decision, said it was “for using a derogatory and offensive term from the bench”.

Noah, who is the son of tennis champion Yannick Noah, was fined just half of the punishment Lakers star Kobe Bryant received for a similar outburst last month.

Gay rights group GLAAD called both incidents “troubling” but praised the NBA for its swift action.

Earlier this month, Rick Welts, the president and chief executive of US basketball team Phoenix Suns, announced he is gay.

The 58-year-old, who has been involved in basketball for more than 40 years, said he wanted to break down one of the last social barriers in sport.