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Outspoken: Charles Barkley, Rashida Jones and more…

NBA legend Charles Barkley

“It bothers me when I hear these reporters and jocks get on TV and say: ‘Oh, no guy can come out in a team sport. These guys would go crazy.’ First of all, quit telling me what I think. I’d rather have a gay guy who can play than a straight guy who can’t play.”

— NBA Hall of Famer and now sports analyst Charles Barkley (Washington Post, May 17)

“I was like, ‘Oh, my God, girls are so pretty and soft. No stubble burn! What am I doing with guys?’ I haven’t dipped back since, but I was very appreciative of the experience.”

— Actress Rashida Jones on kissing Zooey Deschanel in the upcoming film “Our Idiot Brother,” which she says was her first lesbian kiss both on screen and off. (The Advocate, June-July 2011)

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NBA’s Joakim Noah fined for anti-gay outburst, apologizes

Chicago Bulls Center Joakim Noah

Chicago Bulls Center Joakim Noah was fined $50,000 by the National Basketball Association for his use of an anti-gay slur during a playoff game on May 22, according to the Associated Press.

Noah, who was responding to fan heckling, appeared to use the same slur that cost Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant $100,000 in fines less than a month ago.

Noah apologized immediately after the game:

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Chicago Bulls player forgets Kobe lesson, uses anti-gay slur during playoff game

Chicago Bulls Center Joakim Noah

Chicago Bulls Center Joakim Noah apologized after last night's NBA playoff game for appearing to direct an anti-gay slur toward a fan during the game's first quarter.

The Miami Heat played host to the Bulls in the third game of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals.

Noah owned up to the choice of words, saying immediately after the game that he was sorry for using the slur: “A fan said something, and I said something back. I apologized. I don't know what's going to happen. I got caught up. I didn't mean any disrespect to anybody.”

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Should Atlanta Braves coach Roger McDowell be fired for anti-gay slurs?

Atlanta Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell

Anyone besides me miss Leo Mazzone? The former Atlanta Braves pitching coach nurtured the talents of Greg Maddux, John Smoltz and Tom Glavine during the height of Atlanta's division dominance from the mid ‘90s to 2005. But more importantly, Mazzone never made the kinds of headlines that his successor, Roger McDowell, made late yesterday.

Justin Quinn accused McDowell of making the anti-gay remarks in response to fan heckling while the Braves were on the road in San Francisco. Quinn and his two daughters were watching pre-game batting practice when the alleged incident occurred.

Quinn was incensed enough to go to attorney Gloria Allred with his story. Allred held a press conference yesterday because, well, that's what she does. As gimmicky as her presence is in this story, or any story really, Allred does have a certain knack of being able to publicize her cause.

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Gay activists call for investigation into Braves coach’s alleged use of anti-gay slur

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation is asking Major League Baseball and the Atlanta Braves to send a message "that anti-gay slurs have no place in sports" after an Atlanta Braves coach allegedly hurled epithets at San Francisco Giants fans.

Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell is accused of making anti-gay slurs at the San Francisco AT&T Park during a game on Saturday. Justin Quinn, who was at the game with his wife and 9-year-old twin daughters, made the allegation and also accused  McDowell of threatening him after he asked the coach to watch his language because children were present.

McDowell issued an apology on Wednesday, saying he was "deeply sorry."

“McDowell’s apology is a start, but the Atlanta Braves and Major League Baseball must take real disciplinary action and send the message that anti-gay slurs have no place in sports,” said GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios in a statement. “Professional sporting events should be an environment that all fans and families can enjoy, not a place where children are exposed to violent threats and discriminatory language.”