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Posted by Christopher L. Gasper, Globe Staff  April 15, 2011 12:59 PM

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...That's what got Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant fined $100,000 by the NBA this week. Bryant directed a homosexual slur at NBA referee Benny Adams after being whistled for a technical foul.

Such derogatory language has no place in the NBA, but is commonplace among players in the league, including here in Boston. Anyone who sits courtside will hear all kinds of invective, including multiple voicings of the word Bryant used, being spewed by players.

I'm all for intense competition and the heat of battle. I understand pro sports is always going to be rated R in between the lines. But it is insensitive, ignorant and an act of negligence to let players use homophobic slurs as pejoratives aimed at opponents and officials.

If, as their commercials say, the NBA cares they won't stop with Bryant. The league should send out a memo informing players and coaches that anyone caught using such language during a game will be subject to fine.

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The word

Christopher L. Gasper riffs on the news


...That's what the Patriots have when it comes to picks in the 2013 NFL Draft, which starts Thursday. After all those years of stockpiling picks the way a survivalist does non-perishables the Patriots have just five picks in this year's draft, thanks to Band-aid trades for Albert Haynesworth, Chad Ochocinco and Aqib Talib. Five picks would be the fewest draft picks in franchise history. (Part of that is attributable to the trimming of the draft to just seven rounds in 1994). Further complicating matters is that two of the Patriots' greatest needs are at wide receiver and cornerback, positions where they have sustained draft droughts. With that in mind, I'm convinced the Patriots are going trade back out of the first round of a quanity-over-quality draft where you're just as likely to pick a Pro Bowl player in the second and third round as you are in the first round.

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