(Photo: Reuters/Lucy Nic)
Fans arriving at the American Airlines Center in Dallas last weekend for game three of the NBA Finals, were left shocked as members of Westboro Baptist Church gathered outside to protest a new NBA policy on hurtful language toward gays.
The church members from Kansas bemused sports fans by using the sporting event to demonstrate against new NBA policies to protect gays against homosexual slurs.
NBA commissioner David Stern oversaw the implementation of a policy two weeks ago, which said hateful language toward gays was unacceptable.
Since those rules were put in place, both Kobe Bryant and Joakim Noah have been fined for using gay slurs.
Westboro Baptist Church gathered with an American flag under their feet with numerous banners attempting to highlight their cause.
Church members Steve Drain said, “Now David Stern, the tyrant commissioner of the NBA is jamming a message down the throat of America that not only is it okay to be gay, but you don't even want to use the word 'gay' in a negative connotation.”
During their hour-long protest they held large boards with Stern’s picture on, which stated; “God hates f*gs. God hates f*g enablers. Therefore God hates David Stern and the NBA.”
KDAF-TV reported that one spectator described the protest as “sad and ridiculous”.
Another tried to spark a counter-protest, shouting: “Gay or straight, God will love you, gay or straight, gay or straight. John 3:16; whosoever believes in him. Not Republican, not Democrats, not straight people, whosoever believes in him.”
Pro-gay website Queerty.com posted a message in response to Westboro Baptist Church’s protest, saying: “So… apparently in addition to GodHatesFags.com and GodHatesTheMedia.com, the WBC will need to purchase the domain name GodHatesTheNBA.com-oooh, we just snapped it up for $7.99. See what we did there?”