MIAMI (CBSMiami.com) – Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah was fined $50,000 and has issued an apology after using an anti-gay slur towards a Miami Heat fan during Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
Noah picked up his second foul early in the first quarter and then got into an argument with a Heat fan courtside. Noah proceeded to call the fan a “f****** f***ot.”
Noah played poorly throughout the rest of the game, missing all four of his shots and only scoring 1 point in the entire game.
By the time the game was over, Noah was apologizing for his outburst.
“I apologize,” Noah said. “The fan said something to me that I thought was disrespectful, and I got caught up in the moment, and I responded. I said some things that I shouldn’t have said. I was frustrated and didn’t mean any disrespect to anybody.”
There is precedent for the type of discipline the NBA dealt out.
Last month, Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant used a similar slur against an NBA referee. Bryant was later fined $100,000 by the NBA.
But, as pointed out by Darren Rovell of CNBC, Noah’s fine translates to 1.4 percent of his salary while Bryant’s fine is roughly 0.4 percent of his salary.