Roy Hibbert of the Pacers was fined $75k for dropping MF on the media and saying “no homo” Saturday night after the Pacers beat the Heat. Naturally, on Sunday, fans went hunting around YouTube for other athletes who have said “no homo” during interviews, and look, here’s LeBron saying it! This video was uploaded in 2010, but it could be older than that.
Here’s my thing about the Hibbert controversy (and the LeBron one that may or may not happen today): I don’t think I’ve actually heard anyone say the phrase, “no homo” in person or on TV. Maybe it has been uttered, but at the time sounded so innocuous that I never noticed? Is it a slur? Slang? Even though the two words make it obvious what the meaning is, I’m just not familiar with the phrase. If wikipedia is good enough for Michael Scott, it is good enough for me:
The phrases no homo and pause are slang terms. They parenthetically assert that the speaker of such does not have any homosexual intent and are usually used after an utterance that may have given that impression.
So it’s the unfunny version of Seinfeld’s “not that there’s anything wrong with that” episode? Hibbert said “stretching me out” before “no homo” which actually makes it a cruder version of “That’s What She Said.” Hibbert’s comments put him in Noah/Kobe territory.
The NBA was wise to swiftly act on Hibbert. It took them nearly 24 hours to determine Birdman Anderson should be suspended for attacking Tyler Hansbrough, but only 12 to determine Hibbert was out of line. And in a groundbreaking year for athletes coming out of the closet (see Jason Collins and Brittney Griner and Robbie Rogers), this is progress. Setbacks are going to happen (like Chris Culliver’s moment Super Bowl week), but erasing the negative culture around homophobia in the locker room is going to take a few years. [Video via Muuka]