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Bryant to appeal $100K fine for gay slur

April 14, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Kobe Bryant plans to appeal a $100,000 fine handed down after he used a gay slur against a referee.

Bryant was seen yelling at the referee after being called for a technical foul during a game against the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday night.

Bryant has since apologized and admitted that it was the wrong thing to say.

"Out of this, I believe it's our responsibility as athletes and as those who are in the spotlight to bring awareness to certain issues," said Bryant. "Now, where this stems from, it stems from a negative light, but it's our responsibility to turn it into a positive."

A lot of civil rights groups were upset with the comment. The Human Rights Campaign commended the NBA for the fine.

Bryant later spoke on the phone with the civil rights group's president, Joe Solmonese.

"I applaud Kobe Bryant for his swift apology. We had a very sincere conversation in which he expressed his heartfelt regret for the hurt that his words caused," Solmonese said in a statement. He told me that it's never OK to degrade or tease, and that he understands how his words could unfortunately give the wrong impression that this is appropriate conduct. At the end of a difficult day, I applaud Kobe for coming forward and taking responsibility for his actions."

Meanwhile, some fans said they don't think it's a big deal.

"It's just a comment. He didn't mean anything by it," said Chris Millan. "This country is getting too politically correct. Everybody 's crying about everything. Leave it alone."

The Lakers won their last game of the season on Wednesday night against the Sacramento Kings. The Lakers hope to put this issue behind them as they move on to the playoffs.