On welcoming homosexuals in the NBA

In the wake of Kobe Bryant's reprehensible slip, there is some discussion about whether or not this or that use of language merits this or that fine.

I don't really have any strong thoughts about fines, but I'll tell you this: Zero out-of-the-closet active players in league history is a sign that either NBA players are just about the only population of 3,600 or so on the planet with a zero percent homosexuality rate (although John Amaechi's book would argue against that), or that to homosexual players, the league is seen as unwelcoming.

And that's not good. Nowadays it's commonly accepted that a fair chunk of people are homosexual, and they ought to be comfortable acting that way at work. It's the law, even, most places.

So my question isn't: How much are you going to punish this or that thing that happened to be caught by the TV cameras. Any number of players, coaches, and even beat writers can confirm for you that Bryant's slur was the tip of the anti-gay language iceberg, which explains in part his sense that his punishment is extreme.

My question is: What is anyone actually doing to make the NBA gay-friendly? Who's in charge of that? How's it going?

The Wizards recently stopped use of the Kiss Cam in timeouts, maybe in part because it was unwelcoming. Many thought two men kissing ought not be a punchline -- some because it denigrated homosexuality, others because it might -- no joke -- scare the children.

Even if that is, indeed, a step in the right direction, it's not nearly enough. One eliminated Kiss Cam plus $100 grand in fine money does not get you a homosexual-friendly league. I wonder what does.