Basketball icon Kobe Bryant has come under fire from gay rights groups after allegedly shouting out a derogatory term during a Los Angeles Lakers game on Tuesday night (12Apr11).
Lakers star Bryant was playing against the San Antonio Spurs when he was slapped with a technical foul, prompting him to verbally retaliate against the referee and appear to use a gay slur.
The incident was caught on tape and although Bryant's comments are muffled, his apparent outburst has infuriated members of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (Glaad) and a spokesperson for the campaign group has publicly condemned the star.
In a statement released to WENN, Glaad President Jarrett Barrios says, "Discriminatory slurs have no place on or off the court.
"Professional sports players need to set a better example for young people who use words like this on the playground and in our schools, creating a climate of intolerance and hostility. The L.A. Lakers have a responsibility to educate their fans about why this word is unacceptable."