Opinion

Tim Hardaway: No paragon of virtue

Earlier this month, word broke that a former NBA player would be coming out of the closet very soon.

All manner of hell broke loose for about ten minutes, until it was discovered that the closeted center in question was John Amaechi.

Amaechi, of course, is the scrub out of Penn State who played five NBA seasons over the course of nine years for four different teams. Not exactly Shaquille O’Neal, but hey, he did become the first NBA player to ever come out as a gay man. It’s a nice little story (though I’m not sure we need ESPN cramming his “tell all” book down our throats).

Over the next few days following Amaechi’s announcement, several prominent NBA stars were asked how they would feel about playing with a gay teammate. Plenty of them just went with the company line of “hey, if he’s good, whatever.”

Some – most notably LeBron James – revealed their latent homophobia. Says Bron Bron: “It’s something I’d have to evaluate. You take showers together, you’re on the bus, you talk about things. With teammates, you have to be trustworthy. If you’re gay and you’re not admitting that you are, you’re not trustworthy. It’s the locker room code; it’s a trust factor.”

Right. Okay. Maybe he would have learned some tolerance in college.

While there were some moderately offensive comments about gays issued recently in the sports world, the poop did not hit the proverbial fan until, of all days, Valentine’s Day.

Miami’s own Tim Hardaway was a guest on Miami Herald columnist Dan Le Batard’s radio show and said the following: “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.” Yes, he actually said that on the radio.

Amaechi offered a bit of back-handed praise to Hardaway, noting that he was at least honest, while at the same time calling the remarks “ridiculous, absurd, petty, bigoted and show[ing]a lack of empathy that is gargantuan and unfathomable.”

You took the words right out of my mouth, John. That Hardaway was even allowed a public forum to voice his hate speech is unconscionable. Le Batard, I’m sure, dealt with the situation with his typical good humor (after all, he does have to deal with T.O. I’m sure he’s used to controversy).

Hardaway, on the other hand, should be nothing short of banned from any and all NBA related promotions, which has happened, and have his local businesses boycotted.

Hopefully the next time his presence is announced at a Miami Heat home game, he will be greeted with deafening boos. Of course, the bigger problem for gays today is that he likely won’t be.

Patrick Gibbons is a senior majoring in political science. He may be contacted at p.gibbons@umiami.edu

February 20, 2007

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

University of Miami men’s basketball coach Jim Larrañaga received a grand jury subpoena for his phon ...

Get ready for an avalanche of University of Miami defensive backs and linemen descending on the Hard ...

The University of Miami football team has another player with a season-ending injury — and this one ...

When UM coach Mark Richt summoned quarterback Malik Rosier into his office last year, a few months a ...

Quarterback Malik Rosier of the No. 8-ranked Miami Hurricanes maintains a solid third place in what ...

Univeristy of Miami’s Wynwood Art Gallery holds its annual faculty exhibition featuring thought-prov ...

From a game simulating how whales navigate to a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, the U showcased some of ...

A new mobile game called Blues and Reds, now available worldwide, aims to help researchers study int ...

A major Lancet Commission report, a three-year project headed by UM’s Professor Felicia Knaul and co ...

With a $6.8 million NIH grant, the UM School of Nursing and Health Studies and FIU Robert Stempel Co ...

The Hurricanes will look to slow down an inspired Syracuse team at Hard Rock Stadium on Saturday. ...

University of Miami head coach Mark Richt was selected to the 20-member Paul "Bear" Bryant ...

As a Hurricane Club member, you are invited to participate in the 25th Annual University of Miami Ha ...

University of Miami sophomore Bruce Brown Jr. was among 21 players named to the watch list for the 2 ...

Head coach Katie Meier and senior forward/center Erykah Davenport will represent Miami Thursday at t ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.