Professional basketball player Roy Hibberts has been fined $75,000 (£49,173) by the National Basketball Association for swearing and using homophobic language in a press conference.
The Indiana Pacers centre called the media “motherfuckers” during an interview on Saturday, then went on to say of Miami Heat player LeBron James: “LeBron was scoring in the post or getting to the paint cause he was stretching me out so much — no homo.”
After it was announced that Hibbert would be fined for the comments, NBA commissioner David Stern said: “While Roy has issued an apology, which is no doubt sincere, a fine is necessary to reinforce that such offensive comments will not be tolerated by the NBA.”
Coach Franck Vogel said of Hibbert: “He obviously made a great mistake. He’s very contrite and feels horribly about it.”
Hibbert said in a statement on Sunday: “I am apologizing for insensitive remarks made during the postgame press conference after our victory over Miami Saturday night. They were disrespectful and offensive and not a reflection of my personal views.
“I used a slang term that is not appropriate in any setting, private or public, and the language I used definitely has no place in a public forum, especially over live television.
“I apologize to those who I have offended, to our fans and to the Pacers’ organization. I sincerely have deep regret over my choice of words last night.”
Hibbert also appears to have contacted recently out NBA player Jason Collins, sending him a tweet which said: “hey can I get a follow. Would like to discuss something’s with you.”
Collins became the first Major League US sports star to come out as gay this year.