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VIDEO: Kobe Bryant Throws Towel, Mouths 'Faggot' to Ref at Lakers-Spurs Game

Update: The NBA fines its Lakers superstar $100,000, despite his half-assed "apology." Free speech, anyone? Details after the jump.

Oh, Kobe. Why can't you be more like your sweet, sensitive loverman of a teammate Lamar Kardashi-Odom? (Sans unisex fragrance. Because that's just creepy.)

Despite a tight 102-93 Lakers win against the San Antonio Spurs last night, cocky shooting guard Kobe Bryant wasn't in the calmest, or most politically correct, of mindstates. When the ref benched him for his 15th technical foul of the season, the star's towel ate some major floor, and -- more disturbingly -- he let fly a double expletive for TV cameras and all the little basketball dreamers at home.

Hey, at least he got in some nice courtside alliteration, at 0:36:

Wait, wasn't Bryant already served his 15th technical foul of the season? Indeed he was! However, fortunately for the apparent homophobe, the NBA rescinded that one. This time, he wasn't so lucky.

Perhaps the NBA doesn't take kindly to foul-mouthed macho men? And soiled towels, for that matter.

Update: The Human Rights Campaign is uber pissed. A rep told TMZ:

"Hopefully Mr. Bryant will recognize that as a person with such fame and influence, the use of such language not only offends millions of LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender] people around the world, but also perpetuates a culture of discrimination and hate that all of us, most notably Mr. Bryant, should be working to eradicate."

First the Armenians, now the gays -- Bryant is picking the wrong minorities to piss off in his socially liberal, immigrant-heavy hometown. Try to remember who's in the stands, bud.

In other human-rights news, we wish someone would get equally outraged about this: "Man Tased Into Coma by Arizona Border Agents, Threatened With Deportation While Still Unconscious." Seriously.

Update: City News Service has Bryant's response to the "fucking faggot" backlash: It "should not be taken literally.''

Which actually makes the slur even worse, if you think about it, because Bryant would have been implying that all "faggots" suck, instead of just calling the ref literally gay.

Bryant continued: "My actions were out of frustration during the heat of the game, period. The words expressed do not reflect my feelings towards the gay and lesbian communities and were not meant to offend anyone.''

Totally. He probably just meant referee Bennie Adams was a burly tattooed guy on a Harley, anyway. We're expecting an angry statement from Hell's Angels any minute now.

Update: Bryant's excuses weren't good enough for the Human Rights Coalition -- nor NBA Commissioner David Stern, who just slapped the player with a $100,000 fine.

That's, like, over 3,000 Power Balance bands.

The coalition's press release reads:

While Bryant acknowledged the outburst earlier today and said in a statement it did "not reflect my feelings toward the gay and lesbian communities," he failed to apologize or to take full responsibility for the homophobic slur. ...

"We applaud Commissioner Stern and the NBA for not only fining Bryant but for recognizing that slurs and derogatory comments have no place on the basketball court or in society at large, " said Joe Solmonese, HRC President. "We hope such swift and decisive action will send a strong and universal message that this kind of hateful outburst is simply inexcusable no matter what the context."

Bryant's remarks don't fall under the protection of the First Amendment because the NBA is a business -- a club of sorts -- that can set its own policy. Tough luck, douchebag.

Originally posted at 9:30 a.m.

[@simone_electra/swilson@laweekly.com]