PHOENIX - The words caught rolling off Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant's tongue Tuesday are firing up a lot of people including other players in the NBA.
"It's still words and the language can be very offensive," said Phoenix Suns forward Grant Hill.
Bryant made the homophobic slur after referee Bennie Adams called a technical foul on him. Cameras caught Bryant slamming his fist into the chair and throwing his towel across the court in protest.
The controversy comes as the NBA was in Phoenix this week shooting an upcoming public service announcement campaign with the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) in order to present the league as being more "gay friendly."
"I think back to when I was a kid," Hill smiled. "And if an NBA athlete or an NFL athlete or someone I looked up to and admired told me something was not cool then I'm going to pay attention."
ABC15 was behind the scenes with Hill who's featured in the PSA "Think Before You Speak."
He said people, especially celebrities, need to consider their words carefully.
"As athletes, as role models, whatever you want to call us, we're in a position to do something better," Hill said. "And to preach that message to our youth and to our adults, because let's be honest there are adults out there who use this kind of language who don't know or aren't aware they're being offensive."
NBA Commissioner David Stern issued a disciplinary ruling on Wednesday against Kobe, slapping him with a $100,000 fine. Kobe made this statement to ESPN radio:
"The comment that I made, even though it was not meant as what it's perceived to be, is nonetheless wrong."
"We need to raise awareness, we need to educate," Hill explained.
The PSA is set to air during the NBA finals as part of the GLSEN campaign about anti-gay language.
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