NBA player Nikola Jokic fined $25,000 for saying ‘no homo’
NBA player Nikola Jokic has been fined $25,000 for saying “no homo” in a post-game interview.
The Denver Nuggets player came under fire for his comments on October 31, after the team’s 108-107 victory over the Chicago Bulls.
Jokic, who also represents the Serbian national basketball team, was asked in the interview about up-and-coming Chicago Bulls player Wendell Carter Jr., who is 6-foot-10 tall and has a 7-foot-5 wingspan.
“He’s long… no homo, he’s longer than you expect.”
The NBA player responded: “I respect his game,. He’s crafty, hard worker, if that makes any sense. He’s playing really hard basketball.”
He added: “He’s long… no homo, he’s longer than you expect. He can jump, he’s right there. He’s really good defensive player. I think he can be a really, really good player.”
The clip was shared online by fans, but the comment landed the 23-year-old NBA player in hot water with the National Basketball Association (NBA).
The basketball body, which takes a zero tolerance approach to homophobia, announced that Jokic would face a fine for a breach of standards.
In a statement, Kiki VanDeWeghe of the NBA confirmed: “Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic has been fined $25,000 for using derogatory and offensive language.”
Neither Nikola Jokic nor the Denver Nuggets have commented on the fine.
NBA takes zero tolerance approach to ‘no homo’ comments
The NBA previously took action against a player for very similar “no homo” remarks in a 2013 post-match interview.
Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert had made the comments while referring to Miami Heat’s LeBron James.
He said: “I really felt that I let Paul down in terms of having his back when LeBron was scoring in the post or getting to the paint, because they stretched me out so much… no homo.”
The NBA player had also used the word “motherf***er” in the interview. He was fined $75,000 over his breach of professional conduct standards.
Hibbert later said: “I apologise 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.”
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Former Brooklyn Nets player Jason Collins, who came out as gay in 2013 while retiring from the sport, has spoken about experiencing anti-gay attitudes in the locker room in the sport.
The out campaigner explained to the Chicago Tribune last year: “In the world of sports, there’s still a lot of work to be done. We know that the locker room — male locker rooms in particular — can be extremely homophobic at times.
“In the NBA we talk to our players about that. There definitely still is a challenge in the locker room.
“I hear stories of some of the language still being used. That means we have to work that much harder.”
An NBA player recently suggested introducing rainbow kits in the sport to bolster LGBT+ inclusion.