The NBA has cut ties with a freelance photographer who worked with the Houston Rockets for more than three decades, after the league discovered he posted a meme on Facebook that referred to Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) by a derogatory term.
What are the details?
Shortly after presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden announced that Harris would be joining his ticket, Houston-based freelance photographer Bill Baptist shared a meme to his Facebook page that made fun of Biden’s campaign logo and his running mate that read, “Joe and the Hoe.”
When former WNBA star Sheryl Swoopes saw Baptist’s post, she shared it on her own timeline and called for the NBA to fire the photographer, writing, “So this guy works for the NBA but covers the Houston Rockets. Has been around for a while. Even worked for the Houston Comets. It’s amazing how people will smile in your face but eventually their true colors will show. @NBA and Houston Rockets he needs to GO!!! So disrespectful. Bill Baptiste (sic) shame on you!!!”
The NBA listened. USA Today reported that Mr. Baptist was “removed from the NBA bubble in Orlando” following the post, and the NBA issued a statement to KPRC-TV, confirming, “The photographer is an independent contractor and his services are no longer being used in Orlando.”
Baptist also issued a statement to the outlet, apologizing for his post and calling it “a horrible mistake.”
“I deeply regret posting on my Facebook page a phrase that I saw and copied from others as a sample of some people’s reactions to Biden’s selection of Senator Harris as his choice for VP,” he wrote. “The phrase I posted does not reflect my personal views at all. I should not have been so insensitive to post the statements by others. I sincerely apologize to all of those who have rightfully been offended and I have taken the post down from my FB page. It was a horrible mistake on my part.”