NBA Fires Photographer Who Posted Offensive Kamala Harris Meme

Democratic vice presidential running mate, US Senator Kamala Harris, speaks to the press after receiving a briefing on COVID-19 in Wilmington, Delaware, on August 13, 2020. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

The NBA has fired a photo contractor who shared a Kamala Harris meme on social media, after a former WNBA player found it offensive.

The contractor, Bill Baptist, had worked with the Houston Rockets for decades, but last week that association came to an abrupt end after the photographer posted a meme about Joe Biden’s Vice Presidential running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, the Hill reported.

The meme featured a satire of a campaign graphic reading “Joe and the Ho” in blue and red colors. However, former WNBA star Sheryl Swoopes was not amused.

Swoopes reposted the meme to her page and blasted both the Rockets and the NBA for employing him, saying, “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 shame on you!”

So this guy works for the NBA but covers the Houston Rockets. Has been around for a while. Even worked for the Houston…

Posted by Sheryl Swoopes on Tuesday, August 11, 2020

The NBA acted quickly to fire Baptist and remove him from the NBA “bubble” in Orlando’s Disney resort.

The league issued a terse statement, saying, “The photographer is an independent contractor and his services are no longer being used in Orlando.”

For his part, Baptist posted an apology and claimed that the meme did not “reflect” his views on Harris.

The photographer sent a statement to KPRC Channel 2:

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. 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.

Before working with the Rockets, Baptist worked with the Houston Astros.

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