Tim Hardaway: I Hate Gays

We live in a world that is constantly in-touch with one another. In an instant, you can find out what is happening on the complete opposite side of the earth. You can then mine that data, be it video, audio, or someone’s blog, and digest it and get a feel for what life is like far away from where you are.

We live in an instant gratification age, where everything is sped up and moving at the speed of light. Sometimes, at the speed of thought – and that is what got Tim Hardaway in trouble.

Let me give you an example – you can watch Michael Richard’s blowup as a stand-up comic.

His mind-blowing tirade attacking a few jerks in the audience wouldn’t be news in of itself save for the fact that he chose to attack them based on the color of their skin. Kramer was angry, and he was letting it be known – and everyone passed judgement on him.

Yet, here we are in another compromising situation – and strangely, it was just a matter of time. John Amaechi came out last week, stating that the former NBA forward himself was gay. This isn’t even a marquee player, mind you, but it generated so much buzz over the story, that Amaechi is almost on celebrity status, doing the talk show circuit thing.

That should be a story in of itself – not the fact that Amaechi is gay, but the fact that the American public is so shocked and awed by it. In the year 2007.

What is more stunning is Hardaway’s response to the question about playing on a team with gay players. Listen HERE.

Perhaps because we are so quickly inter-connected these days, we just caught Tim Hardaway at a bad moment. Maybe he wasn’t thinking clearly about the possibly ramifications of his statement – that surely a media frenzy would be on the horizon. Or maybe that is precisely the point – Hardaway, an old dog loved for his telling-it-straight personality all of a sudden felt the need to use that old reflex, not realizing that times have changed.

The culture of the NBA, moreover that of the professional athlete, is intolerant of homosexuality, as it paints a femine and almost negative picture in the minds of the alpha male, ultra competitive individual whose sole ambition is dominance and performance. If we need a reminder, at least where homosexuality is concerned, we need only to turn to John Rocker, whose comments as a Brave had the entire city of New York in an uproar.

Appropriately, the NBA has served as a barometer for social change, for obvious reasons. This time, however, the color barrier seems to be pushed to the background and the new class up for equality, sexual preference, comes to the front for observation. To pass judgement on Hardaway is to pass rash judgement on ourselves. For in our midst, there are many that feel exactly the same way as Tim Hardaway does. That should not be a shock.

What should be a shock is the medium on which that statement was made, and strangely there is something refreshing about hearing someone speak their mind freely, even if we don’t (or shouldn’t) agree with it. In this time of political correctness, it is stunning that Tim Hardaway would venture such an attempt. Yet he has. And we are left to see what comes of it.

Strange it just happened to fall on Valentine’s Day.