HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Not all speech is free.
Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert found out the hard way on the eve of Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals, when the NBA fined him $75,000 for using “inappropriate and vulgar language” during postgame interviews after the Pacers’ Game 6 win over the Miami Heat Saturday night in Indianapolis.
“While Roy has issued an apology, which is no doubt sincere, a fine is necessary to reinforce that such offensive comments will not be tolerated by the NBA,” said NBA Commissioner David Stern in a statement released by the league.
Hibbert’s apology, issued via Pacers.com earlier Sunday, summed up the big man’s feeling after realizing that he might have offended some people with his remarks:
“I am apologizing for insensitive remarks made during the postgame press conference after our victory over Miami Saturday night. They were disrespectful and offensive and not a reflection of my personal views. I used a slang term that is not appropriate in any setting, private or public, and the language I used definitely has no place in a public forum, especially over live television. I apologize to those who I have offended, to our fans and to the Pacers’ organization. I sincerely have deep regret over my choice of words last night.”