So, exactly what happened to get Amare a $50,000 fine?
Much like many NBA players, Amare Stoudemire generally does a decent job interacting with fans on Twitter.
However, there are apparently times when he gets a little frustrated and expresses it the wrong way.
Yesterday, he was fined $50,000 for one such incident in which Stoudemire used a gay slur in a direct message to one fan who criticized his performance.
This isn't the first time someone has been fined for using the same exact language that Stoudemire used. Kobe Bryant was fined $100,000 for saying it to a referee during a game.
This is a much different situation, however. Stoudemire wasn't on the court, he wasn't saying it to an official, and he did it in what was intended to be a private form of communication.
So, was the NBA right to fine Stoudemire in this case? I don't believe so, but that doesn't mean Stoudemire is without blame here.
For reference, here's the message that Stoudemire sent to a fan named Brian Ferrelli, including an apology sent a few hours later:
Let's start from the top.
There's no doubt that Stoudemire was wrong to use the language that he used. Stoudemire, the NBA, and the fans pretty much unanimously agree on that.
At the same time, the fan in this case, Brian Ferrelli AKA @BFerrelli on Twitter, didn't handle it properly either. Instead of responding to Stoudemire, he posted the previously private conversation for all to see, and it spread around the internet like wildfire.
Again, just because I know some people on the internet will somehow construe that as my trying to defend Stoudemire... that's not what I'm doing. I'm merely saying that private conversations should be kept private, and it's kind of a grimy move to publicize something like that, even if you're offended. Especially when there's an apology following it in a pretty reasonable time span.
Next, the NBA investigated the incident, and ended up fining him $50,000. This is another area I have an issue with, because I think it's a huge breach of privacy and a violation of Stoudemire's free speech.
It's an incredibly slippery slope to start fining players over what they say in private messages. This means the NBA has a precedent and could theoretically start fining players over things that are said in private conversations, emails, or any other form of communication.
Even if Stoudemire (or anyone else) says something incredibly stupid and offensive, we live in a place where people have a constitutional right to be stupid and offensive, whether we like it or not.
Stoudemire wasn't at work, and he did it in a private manner, so I personally don't believe his employer should have stepped in. It's reminiscent of the "Big Brother" system in George Orwell's "1984," and it goes against the basic fundamentals.
Most importantly though: Amare, stop being an idiot.