In today’s politically correct world I get tired of athletes getting fined because they cursed at a press conference. Usually when that happens there will be a media outlet somewhere (because there’s always one) that will have a headline such as “Brian Behnke curses at press conference”. And when I see a headline like that I think to myself one thing ‘Whoop-dee damn do’, as if we don’t use words like that in our daily lives. Pacers center Roy Hibbert was fined $75,000 for cursing and using gay slang during his press conference after Game 6 Saturday Night. Now, I agree with the fine for the homophoic comments. Racist or homophobic slurs that shouldn’t be tolerated. But bad language?
First of all, I don’t believe there is any such thing as bad language. We all use words every day to express frustration and anger, which is exactly what Hibbert did Saturday. He called the media a word I can’t use in this blog. A word I’d love to use because it would be funny as sh– well never mind. He was asked why he felt he finished 10th in voting for Defensive Player of the year. He responded by saying the media hadn’t watched enough of their games, perhaps because they are a small market team and also aren’t on national television a lot and slipped an F bomb in at the beginning.
I applaud Hibbert for being honest with the media. Media outlets and bloggers like myself get to write and talk about things that athletes or celebrities say and do every day. Unless an athlete is speaking into a live microphone with the emotions in their voice and the expressions on their face, sometimes we can’t fully comprehend what an individual is saying or doing. But because Hibbert was on live tv we could see and hear all of it and knew exactly what he was saying. The NBA, like all the other sports leagues I guess, deemed the language inappropriate and fined him.
But Hibbert is exactly the kind of athlete I enjoy hearing from. He was completely honest and he didn’t care whether he was fined or not for swearing. I personally don’t think players should have to follow David Stern’s rules all the time because his rule book is just like the NCAA’s, it’s too big and full of meaningless garb. It would help explain why I am such a huge fan of Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. He’s ticked off Stern so many times you can’t count them on your hand. Despite the fact that it has cost him over 1.5 million bucks in fines, he doesn’t seem to care. He’s a passionate person and I give him credit for that.
But back to the language thing. I remember when Shaquille O’Neal cursed twice during a live tv interview years ago. If I was a sideline reporter, I would never interview an athlete if they’re ticked off. Shaq was mad about the officiating despite the fact that his team won the game that night. When athletes are angry, they will say whatever comes to mind. Understand that. They are human beings, they’re not going to clean up or control their anger just because they are on live television, they don’t think like that and who could blame them. Every time I see that sound bite I laugh my butt off. He used bad language to further get his point across, cause lets face it, when an athlete uses foul language on live tv, SportsCenter will show it, and websites will obtain the video.
“Foul” language even though I don’t always understand why is an attention getter. Maybe it’s simply because of the words, maybe it’s because athletes are being %100 real and giving us all the emotion they are feeling at that time. I hate it when athletes are forced to apologize for language. It’s words, words we use every day. Should we use them in front of kids? No. But we are all adults. Language is part of who we are and how we express ourselves. Anyone who has a problem with that should go f— themselves.