The Indiana Pacers defeated the Miami Heat on the night of Saturday, June 1st, to force a game 7 in what has been an epic Eastern Conference Finals series. But the story after the game wasn’t the dominating effort by the Pacers, who won 91-77. Instead, the story surrounded Pacers big man Roy Hibbert, and some questionable language he decided to use in his post-game press conference.
Hibbert, who has been a matchup nightmare for the undersized Heat, took to the podium after the game, and decided to be real with the media, instead of giving them the usually politically correct answers. When describing his defense against LeBron James, Hibbert used the phrase “no homo”, which is a slang term used to deflect any semblance of being homosexual. The phrase has been widely used in Hip Hop music and in the popular television series The Boondocks. The phrase is also used in casual conversation among youth across the country.
Hibbert didn’t stop there, though. When asked about his finishing 10th in the Defensive Player of the Year votes for the 2012-2013 season, Hibbert responded by saying “Y’all m————- don’t watch us play throughout the year to tell you the truth. So that’s fine. I’m going to be real with you, and I don’t care if I get fined. We play and we’re not on TV all of the time and reporters are the ones that are voting and it is what it is. And I don’t make it, that’s fine. I’m still going to do what I have to do.”
While Hibbert’s choice of words has come under fire from the media, many average Americans didn’t have a problem with what he said, in either situation. Plenty of people on Twitter and other social media responded by saying that they didn’t feel no homo was really a gay slur, and that his cussing wasn’t a big deal because what he said was true. TNT’s Inside the NBA crew, which is made up of Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, and Ernie Johnson, acknowledged that the attitude he had when talking about the media was a good thing, and that he should bring that mindset into game 7.
Hibbert is sure to get fined for his language, and the use of the term “no homo”. After the press conference, Hibbert issued a public apology, and he even reached out to Jason Collins on Twitter. Collins is of course the first openly gay athlete to come out during his active playing career.
So is no homo the new gay slur? Or is this another case of the media over exaggerating? In this new day and age where the issue of homosexuality has reached the forefront of American issues, maybe it’s both.