Roy Hibbert issued an apology on Sunday morning for the offensive remarks and comments he made during his postgame interview following Game 6 of the 2013 Eastern Conference Finals.
For those that haven’t heard, during that sit down with the gathered media, Hibbert was asked why he finished 10th in the Defensive Player of the Year voting and answered: “Y’all motherf***ers don’t watch us play throughout the year, to tell you the truth.”
He followed that statement by dropping “no homo” after mentioning how LeBron James “stretched him out” on defense.
The Indiana Pacers big man quickly attempted to make amends and issued an official apology through his organization, as per NBA.com:
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
With Game 7 of this epic series against the Miami Heat looming on Monday night, Hibbert was wise to quickly attempt to put this saga behind him. He was clearly in the wrong; he admitted it and is now ready to move on.
Regarding the gay slur, Hibbert later reached out to Jason Collins—who recently received near-unanimous praise for publicly announcing he is gay, becoming the first male athlete still active in a major professional sport to do so. Hibbert tweeted early in the morning:
@jasoncollins34 hey can I get a follow. Would like to discuss something's with you.— Roy Hibbert (@Hoya2aPacer) June 2, 2013
It’s unknown what Hibbert intended to discuss with Collins, but perhaps he felt the need to speak with the 12-year veteran about the ramifications of his statements and the best way to express remorse.
Regardless, the superstar pivot should be forgiven for what seems to be a sincere apology. He has no prior history of anti-gay comments or malicious actions, and by all accounts he seems to regret his statements.
Frank Vogel attempted to convey that on Sunday morning, as CBS Sports’ Zach Harper brings us this quote from the Pacers head coach concerning Hibbert’s comments:
I support him. I know he's not that person to do something like that or use those words. That it was a mistake. He knows he's wrong; I don't have to tell him he's wrong. And just to understand we all love him and we're going to help him move past it very quickly.
Will Hibbert be fined for these comments?
The NBA will likely fine Hibbert for his remarks, something he foresaw the moment he made them. That should be enough punishment for the 26-year-old out of Georgetown at this juncture, as he’s not a repeat offender.
Unless Hibbert makes more hurtful remarks in future press conferences, he deserves a second chance. This should hopefully become a non-issue after the league doles out a punishment and dips into the Pacers star’s wallet.