Bill Baptist, an independent photographer who has been shooting Houston Rockets’ games for a number of years, was relieved from his duties by the NBA after posting an offensive meme about Senator Kamala Harris on his Facebook page (where careers go to die).
On Tuesday, shortly after presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden announced that Harris would be his running mate, Baptist did what a lot of older people seem to enjoy doing—he went to Facebook. He posted a fake logo for Biden and Harris’ campaign that says “Joe and the Hoe.” Former WNBA star Sheryl Swoopes called out the post on her Facebook page, urging the NBA and the Houston Rockets to cut him loose. A former member of the Houston Comets, Swoopes pointed out that she recognized Baptist, who photographed their games from time to time.
“So this guy works for the NBA but covers the Houston Rockets,” she wrote. “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!!!”
According to KPRC 2 in Houston, Baptist was working in “The Bubble,” the universal hub for NBA games as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic—and as of August 13, “his services are no longer being used.” He released a statement to KPRC 2 about the situation, which he “deeply regrets.” He adds that he saw the phrase and “copied from others.” If that’s not a true mark of a Facebook user, I don’t know what is.
“The phrase I posted does not reflect my personal views at all,” he continues. “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.”
Perhaps using a diary would be better next time, Bill.
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