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Chicago Bulls' Noah fined after anti-gay insult to fan

By Simon Evans

MIAMI (Reuters) - Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah was fined $50,000 by the NBA after he made an anti-gay slur to a Miami Heat fan during his team's 96-85 playoff defeat on Sunday.

The league said in a statement on Monday that Noah had used "a derogatory and offensive term from the bench during the first quarter".

"The fan said something to me that I thought was disrespectful and I got caught up in the moment and I responded," Noah told reporters after Sunday's game.

The league has taken a strong stance against homophobic insults since Kobe Bryant made an anti-gay remark to a referee in a playoff game last month.

Bryant, one of the NBA's most-recognizable and highest-paid players, was fined $100,000 while the league now broadcasts commercials featuring players urging fans not to make anti-homosexual comments.

(Editing by Julian Linden)