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Hardaway Hates Gays


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Retired Miami Heat guard Tim Hardaway, known for his candor, said on a radio show Wednesday that he would not want a gay player on his team, would ask for him to be traded, and went so far as to say: ``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 am homophobic. I don't like it. It shouldn't be in the world or in the United States.''

 

Hardaway was a guest with host/Herald columnist Dan Le Batard on Sports Talk 790 The Ticket, and at the end of the interview, Le Batard asked Hardaway how he would deal with a gay player, in light of last week's disclosure by retired NBA center John Amaechi that he is gay.

 

''First of all, I wouldn't want him on my team,'' Hardaway replied. ``And second of all, if he was on my team, I would really distance myself from him because, uh, I don't think that is right. I don't think he should be in the locker room while we are in the locker room. But stuff like that is going on and there's a lot of other people I hear that are like that and still in the closet and don't want to come out of the closet, but you know I just leave that alone.''

 

Asked what he would do if he had a gay teammate, Hardaway said he would ask for the player to be traded or to be bought out of his contract.

 

''Something has to give,'' he said. ``And I think the majority of players would ask for him to be traded or they would want to be traded. Or buy him out of his contract and just let him go. Something has to give. If you have 12 other ballplayers in your locker room that are upset and can't concentrate and always worried about him in the locker room or on the court it's going to be hard for your teammates to win and accept him as a teammate.''

 

Hardaway is the first NBA player -- current or former -- to make anti-gay statements since Amaechi's news came out. In fact, most of the players and coaches quoted last week, including Heat center Shaquille O'Neal, were supportive of Amaechi and said they would not be bothered by a gay teammate.

 

What if the gay player were a great player, Hardaway was asked.

 

''If he were that great something would still have to give,'' he said. ``People would feel uncomfortable with that. If you're not gay, nobody in that locker room would feel comfortable with that person on your team.''

 

Amaechi probably will not be surprised when he reads Hardaway's comments. He said in a phone interview Tuesday he believes there is still a lot of homophobia in society and in professional sports locker rooms.

 

''We are much further behind than I'd like,'' Amaechi said. ``People in America and England [where Amaechi grew up]would like to think racism is over, sexism is over, and homophobia is over, but it's not. My coming out will show that gay people don't all look like Jack from Will and Grace. Some of us are big, athletic men, and that should be OK.''

 

Amaechi said he had not heard from a single former teammate or NBA player, that he had only heard from former coach Doc Rivers. He challenged straight athletes ''who feel able'' to stand up for gay rights.

 

''I would like professional male athletes to be active supporters, and that doesn't mean putting a rainbow decal on their car,'' he said. ``It means letting other guys in the locker room know that it's not OK to make gay jokes, that it's hurtful, and that it's not OK to be homophobic.

 

``But it's hard to get straight guys to step up. When men stood by women during the suffrage movement, they were called progressive and bold. When whites stood by blacks, they were heroes. But a straight guy standing up for a gay guy faces discrimination, and that's a big part of the battle we're fighting.''

 

http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/sports/16700045.htm

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Yeah, well, Hardaway's an idiot. The only thing surprising about any of this is that he's actually dumb enough to make these comments publicly.

 

And let's just note the irony that about 70 years ago you could have put the word "negro" in everywhere he says "gay" and no one would have known the difference. Fortunately, in this day and age, though there will certainly be people who agree with Hardaway, by and large these comments will make him an object of scorn in the public eye.

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Timmy was the most useless radio/tv personality I've ever seen in my life, so I'm not surprised he'd say something like this (and I almost wonder if he did it thinking he'd get attention). I mean, you make one comment, ok--but when you reiterate it over and over, after you've had time to think about the consequences, it just seems too moronic to be accidental.

 

But ya, it is Tim Hardaway so I won't put it past him.

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I think this is the time for someone to come out of the closet and be a sacrificial lamb. This coming out after their career stuff isnt exactly the most heroic thing to do. Jon Amaechi wants people to come out of the closet while playing and says "see this is why we cant come out" garbage and yet he is only coming out now from the SILENCE because it brings a book deal and free publicity. I know I sound harsh... but I think true courage is being the first African American to play professional baseball. He took the criticism and the hatred, but played on. What these gay athletes want is to be loved and accepted and patted on the ass while playing their sport. I understand their dilemma is having to live a lie and fear of receiving that hate talk from idiot players, but their has to be a first, someone that receives the attention, that gets hated. Someone has to break the line and no one has as of yet in any major sport.

We live in a world of machismo... face it gay athletes... you have to break down that barrier. Blacks had to break down the barrier and are still fighting it. You cant expect the barrier to collapse on its own or the NBA to promote homosexuality.

 

:confused :batman

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I think this is the time for someone to come out of the closet and be a sacrificial lamb. This coming out after their career stuff isnt exactly the most heroic thing to do. Jon Amaechi wants people to come out of the closet while playing and says "see this is why we cant come out" garbage and yet he is only coming out now from the SILENCE because it brings a book deal and free publicity. I know I sound harsh... but I think true courage is being the first African American to play professional baseball. He took the criticism and the hatred, but played on. What these gay athletes want is to be loved and accepted and patted on the ass while playing their sport. I understand their dilemma is having to live a lie and fear of receiving that hate talk from idiot players, but their has to be a first, someone that receives the attention, that gets hated. Someone has to break the line and no one has as of yet in any major sport.

We live in a world of machismo... face it gay athletes... you have to break down that barrier. Blacks had to break down the barrier and are still fighting it. You cant expect the barrier to collapse on its own or the NBA to promote homosexuality.

 

:confused :batman

 

While I think it would be MORE courageous to come out while playing, that doesn't mean Amaechi's decision is NOT courageous. It's just less courageous. You can question his motives if you want...that's fair. But just listening to him, it's pretty clear that the subject of anti-gay discrimination is one he has a lot of interest in, has researched, and is passionate about. He may ALSO want to make money and get publicity, but I do think he is genuinely interested in tearning down some of these barriers.

 

Also, it would be easy enough for you or I to call on gay athletes to come out. But think about what we'd be asking them to do. This isn't like Jackie Robinson, really. Jackie didn't already have a spot in the bigs. He was playing in the Negro Leagues, where the money and the fame and the lifestyle just doesn't compare. He took a lot upon himself, no question, and he was courageous and an American hero, but he was moving on up, all the same. For an athlete who is already living the life, doing what he's always worked for--for him to just give that all up in the fight for social justice--that's a HUGE step. If your dream has been to play in the NBA or whatever, why would you choose to put that in jeopardy while you still have so many playing days ahead of you. I place no blame at the feet of gay athletes who choose to stay in the closet.

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this guy's an absolute joke. i can't stand people that apologize when they were FULLY aware of what they were doing. how long has he been in the business and he thought he could make in-your-face, controversial comments without anyone caring? ugh what a disgrace to the entertainment world.

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this guy's an absolute joke. i can't stand people that apologize when they were FULLY aware of what they were doing. how long has he been in the business and he thought he could make in-your-face, controversial comments without anyone caring? ugh what a disgrace to the entertainment world.

you mean the basketball world...

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