Los Angeles Times readers might have been surprised to see the use of the word “faggot” in Thursday’s paper in regards to the Kobe Bryant incident.

Larry Brown of Larry Brown Sports reached out to Nancy Sullivan, LA Times VP of Communications for an explanation on why they decided to use the word:

“Derogatory terms such as the one in the Kobe Bryant story are rarely printed in the paper, for obvious reasons. However, when the use of the word IS the story, as was the case with Bryant’s utterance, it is important to print it for clarity and accountability. This has happened with the other offensive terms in years past. But using such offensive words is never done lightly and, as was the case in this instance, is always cleared at the highest level of the editorial department. There needs to be a very good reason to use it, and in this case, because Bryant’s use of the term and the strong reaction to it from several different corners were the reason for the story, our judgment was to go with it.” Read more