Dwight Howard, the former NBA star who’s embroiled in a legal battle with a man he had sex with, is headed overseas to continue his basketball career.
Howard will play for Strong Group Athletics, a basketball organization based in the Philippines. Howard will compete for SGA at the Dubai International Basketball Championship later this month.
“I’ve been dreaming about coming back here [to the Philippines] for a couple years and you know, just fun to see the fans, see the smiles and feel the love and the passion from all the people here. It’s a beautiful sight to see and I’m just glad to be here,” he said, according to ABS-CBN News.
Howard will, reportedly, attempt to play in the Philippines Basketball Association. However, the league has a 6-foot-9 height limit. Howard is listed at 6-foot-10. He’s trying to get one of those two things changed.
LGBTQ rights are scarce in the Philippines. While same-sex sexual activity is legal (and that seems to be good for Howard), same-sex marriage and other rights like adoption are non-existent. The country is listed 56th out of 197 nations by Equaldex.
Howard’s move to the Philippines brings back the news from last year that he’s being sued by a man who alleged he was sexually assaulted by Howard.
The allegations of forced sex are serious. They always are. They are allegations that Howard has rejected, claiming the sex was 100% consensual. He will have to defend himself in a court of law.
Still, it’s been particularly interesting to watch Howard respond publicly to his own legal acknowledgement that he has sex with men.
No, he hasn’t grabbed a Pride flag and waved it up and down. It’s been a “ho-hum” response to all of the kerfluffle from people like Stephen A. Smith and so many others in the media and social media wondering just how “gay” Howard really is.
Mood when you about to drop the Greatest Podcasts Ever ! Dwight Howard Around The World !D12 Above The Rim! pic.twitter.com/pnJNbT9J9Z— Dwight Howard (@DwightHoward) January 8, 2024
Instead of hiding from the acknowledgement, he’s already moved on. And while we may never know how Howard actually identifies his sexuality — gay, bi — it’s still interesting to see a major male pro athlete go about his business so unfazed by the rest of the world knowing he has sex with men.