NBA says photographer who posted offensive Kamala Harris meme is no longer in bubble

Cassandra Negley
·2 min read

A photographer working in the NBA bubble at Disney World was let go by the league after he posted an offensive meme about Kamala Harris, the newly announced Democratic candidate for vice president.

Bill Baptist is a freelance photographer from Houston who has covered the Houston Rockets for a number of years and was in the bubble as an independent contractor. The meme he posted on Facebook saw a wider audience when it was shared by former Houston Comets superstar Sheryl Swoopes.

Photographer posts offensive meme about Harris

Baptist posted a meme that included Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s official 2020 campaign logo. But instead of “Joe 2020” in the blue circle, it reads “Jo and the Ho.” He shared the photo on Facebook without comment.

Swoopes immediately called out Baptist on Tuesday hours after the vice presidential announcement was made.

“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.”

The Comets, the WNBA’s first dynasty with four championships in the first four years of the league, folded in 2008. Swoopes, a three-time MVP and Olympic gold medalist, is one of the league’s pioneers.

NBA removes photographer from bubble

The NBA said in a statement to KPRC 2 in Houston that Baptist was no longer in the bubble.

“The photographer is an independent contractor and his services are no longer being used in Orlando.”

Baptist shared a statement with KPRC 2 saying the post “does not reflect my personal views at all.”

“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.”

Kamala Harris shown surrounded by fans in yellow shirts at a basketball game.
An NBA photographer is no longer in the bubble after sharing an offensive meme about Kamala Harris. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

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