NBA Won't Work with Photographer Bill Baptist After Offensive Kamala Harris Post

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 14, 2020

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden stands left as his running mate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., speaks at the Hotel DuPont in Wilmington, Del., Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press

Bill Baptist, a freelance photographer who'd been working for the NBA inside its bubble at the Disney World complex in Orlando, Florida, had his contractor deal terminated by the league after a sexist Facebook post referencing Kamala Harris, Joe Biden's running mate in the 2020 U.S. presidential election.

"The photographer is an independent contractor and his services are no longer being used in Orlando," an NBA spokesperson told Tulsi Kamath of Click 2 Houston on Wednesday.

Baptist posted an image that read "Joe and the Hoe."

WNBA legend Sheryl Swoopes, who was aware of Baptist after he worked for former WNBA team the Houston Comets, was among those to comment on the situation before the NBA's decision, per Kamath.

"So this guy works for the NBA but covers the Houston Rockets," she wrote on Facebook. "Has been around for a while. Even worked for the Houston Comets. It's amazing how people will smile in your face but eventually their true colors will show. NBA and Houston Rockets he needs to GO!!! So disrespectful. Bill Baptiste (sic) shame on you!!!"

Baptist issued a statement of apology to Click 2 Houston:

"I deeply regret posting on my Facebook page a phrase that I saw and copied from others as a sample of some people's reactions to Biden's selection of Senator Harris as his choice for VP. The phrase I posted does not reflect my personal views at all. I should not have been so insensitive to post the statements by others. I sincerely apologize to all of those who have rightfully been offended and I have taken the post down from my FB page. It was a horrible mistake on my part."

Biden announced Harris, a senator from California, as his running mate Tuesday. The Democrats will compete against incumbent Republican President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence in November's general election.

In February 2019, the vice presidential nominee discussed the sexism she continued to face after being elected to the Senate in 2017.

"Gender is still a very real issue, including in what is supposed to be the most deliberative body in the world, the United States Senate," Harris said.

She added: "There's still a lot of work to be done. There is that—the assumption that your gender will dictate your priorities."

Meanwhile, a limited number of media members were granted clearance to enter the NBA's bubble as it completes its 2019-20 season following a four-month hiatus because of the coronavirus pandemic.