I had to read this story twice this morning, to make sure I wasn't misreading it, or that it was some kind of awful gag. Retired basketball player Tim Hardaway stated, on a radio sports show that he hates gay people.
He was responding to retired basketball player John Amaechi's recent announcement, in anticipation of publication of his autobiography Man In the Middle, that he is gay.
I quote Hardaway, on the "Sports Talk 790 The Ticket":
"You know, I hate gay people, so I let it be known. I don't like gay people and I don't like to be around gay people. I'm homophobic. I don't like it. It shouldn't be in the world or in the United States."
I thought I'd misread it. Nobody could say anything that stupid in public.
Now, he's got a right to his opinions, and even to state them, no matter how offensive. I've been a card-carrying member of the ACLU and I'm a big fan of the First Amendement, and can tell you that the right to express opinions is one of the things I'd be willing to fight for.
But for god's sake, Hardaway is African-American (as is Amaechi). How on god's green earth does he not make the connection between racism and homophobia? How would he responded if he'd heard some cracker saying that about black people?
Hardaway added to the stupidity:
"Something has to give. If you have 12 other ballplayers in your locker room that's upset and can't concentrate and always worried about him in the locker room or on the court or whatever, it's going to be hard for your teammates to win and accept him as a teammate."
In otherwords, he's worried that a gay player might be scoping out his little fanny. As my friend Jim says of people, "Don't flatter yourself."
The NBA is frantically running for damage control and has distanced themselves from his moronic statements. Hathaway has also tried to spin it, saying "Yes, I regret it. I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said I hate gay people or anything like that. That was my mistake."
Wow, that was so heartfelt and sincere.
Notice that he said he shouldn't have said it. I'm sure he's still a homophobic asswipe.
Maybe he, Mel Gison and Michael Richards can form a support group.