The NBA fired a long-time photographer after he posted a meme of Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., following the announcement of her candidacy for vice president, alongside presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
The now-fired Houston-based photographer, Bill Baptist, worked for the Houston Rockets for more than 30 years, reported USA Today. The meme read, “Joe and the Hoe.”
WNBA Hall of Fame recipient and gold medalist Sheryl Swoopes, called out Baptist on the “disrespectful” Facebook post, added Wednesday, saying, “he needs to go.”
“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!!”
An anonymous source confirmed for USA Today Sports, that Baptist had been pulled from the NBA bubble in Orlando and let go.
Baptist, who was working as an independent contractor for the Houston Rockets, issued a public apology in a statement to a local Houston media outlet.
“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,” Baptist said. “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,” he added. “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.”