Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic has been fined $25,000 for using derogatory and offensive language, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.
Jokic made his comments to the media during a postgame interview following the Nuggets’ 108-107 overtime win over the Chicago Bulls on Oct. 31 at United Center.
Roy Hibbert got fined $75,000 for using the same offensive term (and other swearing) during a press conference in 2013. Rajon Rondo (suspension), Kobe Bryant (fine) and Joakim Noah (fine) were also punished using anti-gay slurs during games.
Jokic’s particular comment, however intended, reinforces the harmful idea that there’s something wrong with being gay, that a straight person must strain himself to ensure he’s never mistaken for gay. It’s disgusting, and the NBA has correctly determined there’s no place for it in the workplace.
Unfortunately, this type of language is still too common. The league can’t police everything NBA personnel say on the job, but recorded interviews are particularly open for scrutiny.
Hopefully, this serves as a learning experience for Jokic – and everyone.