Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert has been fined $75,000 by the NBA for using a gay slur during his postgame news conference Saturday night.
Hibbert responded “no homo” to a question after the Pacers’ 91-77 victory over the Miami Heat forced a deciding Game 7 in the Eastern Conference finals.
The 7-foot-2 center apologized for the remark in a statement issued by the team Sunday.
“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,” Commissioner David Stern said in a statement.
Indiana players were not made available to the media Sunday before they departed for Miami, where Game 7 will be played Monday evening. The winner advances to play the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals, beginning Thursday.
“I support him,” Pacers Coach Frank Vogel said of Hibbert, who had 24 points and 12 rebounds in the Game 6 win. “I know he’s not that person and that it was a mistake. He knows he’s wrong. I didn’t have to tell him that and we all love and support him.”
Hibbert also dropped an f-bomb during the interview Saturday when asked by a reporter about the lack of support for him in defensive-player-of-the-year voting. He replied, “Y’all [expletive] don’t watch us play throughout the year, to tell you the truth. That’s fine. I’m going to be real with you, and I don’t care if I get fined. You know what, we play, we’re not on TV all the time. Reporters are the ones that are voting. And it is what it is. If I don’t make it, that’s fine. I’m still going to do what I have to do.”
Here is Hibbert’s complete apology:
“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.”