Update Feb. 15, 2007, 2:15pmET:
Hardaway has attempted to quiet the backlash from his comments by talking with some people in the media.
"I shouldn't have said that I hate gay people or anything like that," Hardaway told WSVN-Channel 7. "I should have just said I don't condone him being in the locker room."
In an interview with South Florida CBS affiliate's sports reporter Jim Berry, Hardaway seemingly retracted his apology and let loose on the potential of a gay family member:
Berry: "Do you think some people would view that as bigoted as someone white saying I hate black people"
Hardaway: "Probably so. I don't condone it. And if people have a problem with that, I'm sorry. I'm saying that I can't stand being around that person knowing that they sleep with somebody of the same sex."
Berry: "So if you had a family member who was gay, you're saying that you hate them?"
Hardaway: "Yes. Yes. Yeah. I wouldn't talk to them."
Berry: "Tell me why."
Hardaway: "I just told you. 'Cause I don't condone it."
Posted Feb. 14, 2007, 11:30pmET:
Former NBA All-Star Tim Hardaway on Wednesday unleashed what may be the most homophobic series of comments ever uttered publicly by a major pro-sports figure. On Miami's 790 The Ticket, host Dan Le Batard asked Hardaway about the revelation by former NBA player John Amaechi that he is gay.
The Miami Herald carried a transcript of the interview that included this exchange:
Le Batard: "How do you deal with a gay teammate?"
Hardaway: "First of all I wouldn't want him on my team. And second of all, if he was on my team, you know, I would really distance myself from him because, uh, I don't think that is right. I don't think that he should be in the locker room while we are in the locker room, and it's just a whole lot of other things and I wouldn't even be a part of that. 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."
Later in the interview:
Le Batard: "You know what you are saying there is flatly homophobic? It's bigotry?"
Hardaway: "Well, 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. So yeah, I don't like it.''
These comments are the complete antithesis of the tenor of most of the comments by present and former NBA personalities who have overwhelmingly been positive about Amaechi's declaration that he is gay.
Amaechi told Mike & Mike, broadcast on ESPN2, Thursday morning that since Hardaway's comments, he has gotten a flood of hate mail.
"Every comment he made is laden with hate," Amaechi said. "He has been a lightning rod for people to finally open the flood gates and decide that they can say some pretty awful stuff."
Hardaway told a local TV station in Miami Wednesday night, "I regret it, I'm sorry, I shouldn't have said I hate gay people or anything like that, that was my mistake."
To be clear, he didn't say that the sentiment was wrong, but simply that he shouldn't have said it.
The NBA has removed Hardaway from any appearances on their behalf, including further appearances this week in Las Vegas where he has been participating in events leading up to the NBA All-Star game this weekend.
"It is inappropriate for him to be representing us given the disparity between his views and ours," NBA commissioner David Stern said.
"These are the loud comments that pollute the air," Amaechi told Mike & Mike. These are the comments that create the atmosphere that allow some of the tragic incidents of homophobia that we've seen, some of the attacks, some of the deaths."
Contact the CBA
Tim Hardaway is a coach for the CBA's Miami Majesty. Contact the CBA and let them know what you think of Hardaway being a part of their organization:
CBA League Offices
195 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12210
Benito R. Fernandez - Chairman, CBA Executive Committee
Joe Clark - Vice President, CBA Executive Committee
Dennis Truax - CBA Director of Operations
Hardaway was drafted by the Golden State Warriors in 1989; He retired while with the Indiana Pacers in 2003. He also played on the gold-medal U.S. Olympic basketball team in 2000. Hardaway is presently the head coach of the Continental Basketball Association's Miami Majesty (formerly the Florida Pit Bulls).
In the end, Hardaway's comments can be a very good thing for the discussion started last week when it was revealed that Amaechi would announce he is gay. Hardaway's comments were so negative, so hateful, and so vicious that the response from the media and others in sports should be overwhelmingly critical of the former NBA All-Star.
As for the CBA, they will have a very serious decision to make regarding Hardaway. Major League Baseball suspended Atlanta Braves pitcher John Rocker for comments that sound like a compliment to gay people compared to Hardaway's rant. This past season, the NFL fined Pittsburgh Steeler Joey Porter $10,000 for calling Cleveland Browns tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. a "fag." Expect some response from the CBA.
Tim Hardaway - I Hate Gay People. (via straightcashhomeynet)