The Bulls’ Joakim Noah received a $50,000 fine today for using a homophobic slur while combating a heckling fan last night. Perhaps the most significant aspect of the fine – it’s only half what Kobe Bryant was docked when he was caught on camera using the same slur just over a month ago. Pardon the Interruption debated the discrepancy when news of the fine was rolling in, and the $50,000 difference made sense to one host. The other? Not so much.
Mike Wilbon was the one without a problem, as $50,000 is a greater percentage of Noah’s salary (just over $3 million this season) than $100,000 is out of Bryant’s over-$20 million compensation. Tony Kornheiser, though, didn’t want to break it down on a percentage basis:
“The NBA established that this particular slur…is worth $100,000. Now, they’re saying it’s only worth $50,000. To me, that is a regression, and they should not have done that.”
The fact that Noah, who will start making eight figures next season, could afford to get docked $100,000 just as easily as Bryant isn’t the only reason we’re with Kornheiser on this – it’s that Noah said the word to a fan. Now, the fan may well have been obnoxious, but…still a fan. Not part of the game action. Maybe Bryant’s fine included extra money for verbally abusing an official (which was the NBA’s explanation for why his penalty was larger), but we’re thinking the fan aspect should have added a bit on top of Noah’s $50,000, too. Video below.