Thursday, February 15, 2007

Tim Hardaway is a Bigot [J. Mark English]

Former NBA point guard, Tim Hardaway, was recently interviewed by a local radio station:

Former Miami Heat superstar Tim Hardaway told a local sports radio show that he "hates gay people."

Hardaway made the comments while he was being interviewed by Dan Le Batard on 790 the Ticket Wednesday afternoon.

The five time All Star was asked how he would deal with a gay teammate.

"First of all I wouldn't want him on my team," said Hardaway. "Second of all, if he was on my team I would really distance myself from him because I don't think that's right and I don't think he should be in the locker room when we're in the locker room."

Le Batard took Hardaway to task, pointing out that his comments were 'flatly homophobic' and bigoted, but that only seemed to stir up the former point guard.

"Well, you know, I hate gay people," Hardaway said in response to Le Batard. "I let it be known I don't like gay people. I don't like to be around gay people. I'm homophobic. It shouldn't be in the world, in the United States, I don't like it."

Hardaway's comments come on the heels of a groundbreaking revelation made by former player John Amaechi, who became the first professional basketball player to openly identify himself as gay.

Comment -

I called Hardaway a bigot in the title of this post. Just so that there is no misunderstanding, according to the American Heritage dictionary, a bigot means: One who is strongly partial to one's own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ. Yep, sure sounds like Tim Hardaway to me.

As a Knicks fan, I was never fond of Hardaway because he would find ways to give the Knicks trouble in the playoffs during the mid to late 90's. Now I can add bigotry as another reason to disrespect Hardaway.

In an earlier post about John Amaechi I wrote this:

One would have to be naive to believe that there are not current players who may be in the "closet". I can only imagine the fear they might have of ever being found out. Its a sad world that we live in when someones sexual orientation should be ostracized.

Most teenagers that are confused as to what their sexual orientation may be, and slowly begin to realize that they prefer men to females, find themselves stricken with fear with admitting publicly who they really are. Many of these young people contemplate suicide, and many actually do commit suicide. Our society should not look to cause fear among persons who happen to like people of their own sex.

I understand the macho nature of sports leads to the repudiation of people who may be gay. But this is not an excuse for causing fear among people who have different persuasions. Shame on us, and shame on our sports locker rooms that cause fear in many people who are good, but must live in the shadows to hide who they truly are.

Its because of people like Tim Hardaway that decent beings must live in the shadows. Shame on Hardaway, and those like him that reside in our sports locker rooms.

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