“I hate gay people.” That’s what former NBA player Tim Hardaway said during a radio interview when asked how he would handle an openly gay teammate. Hardaway wasn’t finished:
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…And second of all, if he was on my team, I would, you know, really distance myself from him because, uh, I don’t think that’s right. And you know I don’t think he should be in the locker room while we’re in the locker room. I wouldn’t even be a part of that.
Hardaway was scheduled to spend this weekend in Las Vegas doing publicity work for the NBA during their All-Star weekend festivities. Not anymore. He has been banished.
Hardaway has now given the obligatory apology.
As an African-American, I know all too well the negative thoughts and feelings hatred and bigotry cause. I regret and apologize for the statements that I made that have certainly caused the same kinds of feelings and reactions.I especially apologize to my fans, friends and family in Miami and Chicago. I am committed to examining my feelings and will recognize, appreciate and respect the differences among people in our society. I regret any embarrassment I have caused the league on the eve of one of their greatest annual events.
Homosexuality in the NBA is currently a topic of discussion because former player John Amaechi has recently come out of the closet. There has been a variety of responses to Amaechi’s “outing”. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who is also a Hoosier native and IU alum, praised Amaechi as a “hero”.
When you do something that the whole world thinks is difficult and you stand up and just be who you are and take on that difficulty factor, you’re an American hero no matter what. That’s what the American spirit’s all about, going against the grain and standing up for who you are, even if it’s not a popular position.
Miami Herald and ESPN the Magazine writer Dan Le Batard praised Amaechi and condemned Hardaway. Columnist LZ Granderson, who is a homosexual and a sportswriter, was not impressed with Amaechi coming out after his playing days were over.
I’ve supplied a smattering of reaction from the secular worldview. My next post will cover what the reaction should be from a Christian worldview.
I do want to say this in closing, however. I suspect that a lot of Christians were disgusted with Amaechi’s “outing”. I’m also sure that the same Christians approvingly nodded at Hardaway’s ugly remark. That would be the wrong reaction. If you are a believer and you agree with Tim Hardaway, then let me remind you of this:
And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:1-7 (KJV)