This here's Colin Clark, a midfielder for the Houston Dynamo. On Friday, Clark was frustrated with a ball boy for not giving him a new ball fast enough. Picked up by the onfield microphones, everyone watching the nationally televised game heard Clark call the ball boy a "fucking faggot." It immediately became a thing, and Clark was moved to apologize on Twitter at 3 a.m. after the game.

Today MLS handed down the punishment: a three-game suspension, an undisclosed fine, and Clark will attend sensitivity training.

"Major League Soccer will not tolerate this type of behavior from its players or staff at any time, under any circumstances," Garber said in a statement. "Colin Clark has expressed sincere remorse for his actions and I believe that he will learn from this incident."

Clark released a statement, saying he has personally apologized to the ball boy, and swearing to never again use those words in any context. Three games is a serious penalty in a 34-match season, but MLS, probably North America's most progressive sports league, wanted to set an example. Now we have one, and hopefully it deters future instances. Verdict: MLS cares if you call someone a "fucking faggot."

Last April, Kobe Bryant picked up his 15th technical foul of the year, reaching the number that would trigger a one-game suspension. He was removed from the game, and in his frustration on the bench, cameras clearly caught him yelling at referee Bennie Adams, calling him a "fucking faggot."

In the age of Twitter and YouTube, the NBA couldn't not act. Within hours of the game, David Stern called Bryant's remarks "offensive and inexcusable." Bryant released a brief statement, saying his words "do not reflect my feelings toward the gay and lesbian communities and were not meant to offend anyone."

Bryant was not suspended any games beyond his automatic suspension, but he was fined $100,000. Verdict: The NBA sort of cares if you call someone a "fucking faggot."

During a preseason game in September, Philadelphia's Wayne Simmonds got into it with New York's Sean Avery. At one point, Simmonds was still chirping from the bench. "Hey," Simmonds yelled. "Fucking faggot."

Avery confirmed what the video replay showed: that Simmonds had used a slur. Simmonds dodged the issue:

"Honestly, we were going back and forth for a while there," Simmonds said. "I don't recall everything that I did say to him but he said to me some things I didn't like and maybe I said some things that he didn't like. I can't recall every single word I said."

The NHL has made major steps in being more LGBT-friendly, from Patrick Burke's You Can Play campaign, to Sean Avery's rare public support for gay marriage. Add that to the public outcry (GLAAD formally complained about Simmonds's comments), and the NHL investigated. They did not punish Wayne Simmonds. Verdict: The NHL doesn't really care if you call someone a "fucking faggot."

Update: We heard from Patrick Burke, who wanted to make clear that he believes the NHL has done more in the last year than anyone else to combat homophobia. The lack of punishment for Simmonds was due to a long-standing NHL policy against using lipreading to convict anyone, so the league was hamstrung—and Burke and You Can Play understand and support that decision. In the wake of the Simmonds-Avery incident, the league office instructed officials to treat anti-gay slurs like they would racial slurs, and made clear that they will not be tolerated going forward.