Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 2/11/13
Kobe Bryant clearly hasn’t always been the most politically correct athlete. Although Bryant will go down in history as one of the best basketball players ever to lace ‘em up, his resume as a role model is questionable. Back in April of 2011, Bryant was caught on camera calling a referee by a homophobic slur. Them, of course there was that whole alleged rape, cheating on his wife thing that happened in Colorado. Well, Bryant, who only relatively recently joined Twitter, is here to tell you that he’s a complicated human being who’s capable of growing and developing as a person. On Sunday, Bryant responded to a fan on Twitter who used the word “gay” as a pejorative term, telling him to knock it off. The fan, going by the handle of @PacSmoove, was replying to another fan who was also tweeting at Bryant. You're gay “@Pookeo9: @kobebryant Let's make out in bed Kobe.”— Micheal✌©®™ (@PacSmoove) February 11, 2013 Just letting you know@PacSmoove @pookeo9 that using "your gay" as a way to put someone down ain't ok! #notcool delete that out ur vocab— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) February 11, 2013 For the record, in the ensuing back and forth between the Black Mamba and his fans, someone did mention the April 2011 incident. Bryant’s response? That he was wrong to do it in the first place and that he’s learned from the incident. @onepercentofone @pookeo9 exactly! That wasn't cool and was ignorant on my part. I own it and learn from it and expect the same from others— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) February 11, 2013 Well, Bryant may still exhibit some behavior that is bizarre to say the least. But, on this one, we have to credit the Lakers star with showing some impressive maturity.

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

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