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Think before you speak

Some days I sit in my update booth and want to pull my hair out.

Friday was one of those days. I was listening to Gambo and Ash talk about Kobe Bryant’s use of a derogatory, homophobic term toward a referee the other night and whether or not the punishment fit the crime.

Bryant was fined $100K by NBA Commissioner David Stern.

Gambo said that our society today is too “PC”…too Politically Correct. He also said it’s unfortunate that people are too sensitive these days and when he was growing up several derogatory terms were acceptable.

Forget that the ref didn’t hear what Kobe said, the point is that it was rude, inappropriate, offensive and derogatory. These guys are role models whether they like it or not. Athletes are public figures and what they say and do will be emulated by kids and adults everywhere.

There needs to be some responsibility accepted for the way they behave on and off the court, whether they’re in the heat of the moment or walking down the street.

Let’s not forget that technically Kobe was in a place of work and his employer is the NBA. If they saw what he said and they felt it was inappropriate, they have the right and obligation to reprimand and punish him. Yes, I think the fine was excessive and I am glad they didn’t suspend him but something had to be done. He was wrong in saying it and he’s owned up to it.

My feelings on this issue are not just associated with sports; they’re associated with everyday life as well. Is it too much to ask that we think before we speak and take into consideration others’ feelings? Is it too much to ask that we don’t call names and offend people in the process? Why is it so difficult to refrain from insults?

At work I politely ask people to refrain from using the word “retarded” instead of stupid or “gay” instead of dumb. So often people see no problem in using these terms when they’re not directly affected by it.

I am not a fan of behavior being excused because somebody is “in the heat of the moment” or they weren’t trying to offend anyone.

My mom always told me, “if you don’t have anything nice to say than don’t say anything at all.”

I think this week Bryant learned the same lesson, it just cost him $100K.