Thursday, February 15, 2007

Tim Hardaway - Homophobic and Proud

Tim Hardaway appeared on the Dan Le Batard show yesterday. When asked about playing with a gay teammate, Tim said bluntly, "I hate gay people."

Tim was more than candid in stating in that he would not want to play with a gay teammate and whether that teammate was a superstar like Dwyane Wade or a scrub like John Amaechi, "something would have to give."

Ironically, Hardaway deserves some respect for his honesty. He was not "spinning" like Lebron James or Shavlik Randolph. He said what he felt, right or wrong, if any of us are equipped to judge. Do you think all of the guys leading prayer circles in sports love homosexuals? The born again Christians? Even the Negro du jour, Tony Dungy?

And you know a lot of people agree with Hardaway. Johm Amaechi is receiving death threats, but you know a lot of people are going to privately have Hardaway's back. People say a lot of things in columns or cocktail parties, but when it comes down to it, they basically agree with Hardaway.

Actually, the "I hate gay people" statement came at the very end of the interview. Prior to that, Hardaway was discussing a gay teammate as an unwelcome distraction that everyone else would have to "worry" about. And that's an interesting point. Locker room distractions are supposedly the lowest of the low. Should an exception be made for a teammate outing himself? Is having to answer endless questions about your gay teammate more noble than having to answer endless questions about T.O.'s latest outburst? About Tiki Barber's latest outburst? About Michael Strahan's latest outburst? About Chad Johnson's latest outburst? About Joey Porter's latest outburst....

If a locker room would have to potentially tolerate an "out" athlete like John Amaechi or Billy Bean or Esera Tualo, should efforts be made to tolerate the teammate on the opposite end of the scale, a homophobe like Tim Hardaway. After all, isn't tolerance for everybody?

Update: Tim doesn't back off. He explains himself to a Flordia TV station. And, surprise, John Amaechi (whose name was not mentioned at all in Hardaway's interview) has scheduled another media appearance on Mike & Mike at 7:20 a.m. You gotta start early to get yourself in the news cycle for the day.

Update: Check out LZ Granderson's article about why chances of getting raped in the shower by a gay teammate are slim to none. More like none.

Update: Tim tells another Florida station that he's sorry for saying that he hates gay people.

Update: Dan Le Batard calls Hardaway honest, but ignorant.


Pacifist Viking said...

I don't like the "We have to respect him for being honest" logic. If somebody is a total douchebag and admits it, we have to respect him? At the absurd conclusion of this logic, if a mass murderer comes out and says, "Yes, I mass murdered, I loved it and I'd do it again," we'd have to respect his honesty? We don't have to respect honesty. It just is.

Yep, there are people that agree with Hardaway. They're douchebags, too. We don't have to respect them, either, if we don't want to.

If an out player is a distraction, how much of that is really the out player's fault? If he's out and that means that EVERYBODY is asking him and everybody else about it constantly, what's he supposed to do? How is that the out player's fault? Should all gay people stay in the closet lest their outness "distract" people? That's inane.

Head Chick said...

I guess "respect" is a misleading word. But there is value in honesty. Even for a mass murderer. The victims family's benefit from closure, society benefits from relativey low admnistrative costs of soliciting a confession...

However, he is still a mass murderer and will be punished as such.

A lot of "distractions" are not necessarily the "distractor's" fault. At what point does a gay teammate become a distraction? Calmly coming out in a team meeting? engaging in pda with a boyfriend at a team function? celebrating gay pride weekend in lame hotpants?

whitefolks said...

You only get as distracted as you are interested in what's going on around you. Being homophobic is probably something that people openly disparage in Tim's circle and when he finally got the chance to have a public forum, the regulator switch in his brain never went off.

Reason being is that he has to consider gay people a distinct level below him in humanity. It's the same argument that can be applied to a racist and if it were a player in a racism scandal, it would be a media shit storm. Tim never made that important correlation and has already paid for it in being banned from All-Star Weekend.

The media has definitely propped this story up for more than it's worth in conflict reporting. Can't imagine how sensationalist it will be when the first name player comes out.

The Rover said...

I can't get excited over him being honest because of his use of the word "hate". The first part of his statement, though disappointing to me, was something I could live with.

And I'm totally sick of ESPN. Not only are they up to their usual tricks, but they took PTI off the air for a week for some NASCAR show. Idiots.