Basketball | Military | News | Sports | Tim Hardaway

In the NBA Locker Room with Michael Medved

Not to dwell on the recent Tim Hardaway story, but I hadn't posted this, and didn't want it to slide by.

MedvedMichael Medved: "Hardaway appropriately apologized for his harsh remarks, but many (if not most) Americans no doubt share his instinctive reluctance to share showers and locker rooms with open homosexuals. That reluctance also explains the controversial Defense Department policy that prevents out-of-the-closet gays from serving in the United States military."

Thus starts the conservative columnist's recent item on the Hardaway comments which perpetuates a set of twisted generalities truly astounding in their sexism and bigotry. Here's a bit more:

The much better analogy for discomfort at gay teammates involves the widespread (and generally accepted) idea that women and men shouldn’t share locker rooms. Making gay males unwelcome in the intimate circumstances of an NBA team makes just as much sense as making straight males unwelcome in the showers for a women’s team at the WNBA. Most female athletes would prefer not to shower together with men not because they hate males (though some of them no doubt do), but because they hope to avoid the tension, distraction and complication that prove inevitable when issues of sexual attraction (and even arousal) intrude into the arena of competitive sports.

Tim Hardaway (and most of his former NBA teammates) wouldn’t welcome openly gay players into the locker room any more than they’d welcome profoundly unattractive, morbidly obese women. I specify unattractive females because if a young lady is attractive (or, even better, downright “hot”) most guys, very much including the notorious love machines of the National Basketball Association, would probably welcome her joining their showers. The ill-favored, grossly overweight female is the right counterpart to a gay male because, like the homosexual, she causes discomfort due to the fact that attraction can only operate in one direction. She might well feel drawn to the straight guys with whom she’s grouped, while they feel downright repulsed at the very idea of sex with her.

There's more where that came from. Check out the rest of the column here.

OF course, Medved's generalities were disproved last week by the players themselves. But Medved seems to have really thought through those locker room scenes with intense concentration, right? Makes you wonder.

Where Tim Hardaway Was Right [town hall]

Tim Hardaway's Gay Spinout: North Miami Mayor, All-Stars React [tr]
Tim Hardaway's Gay Hate Speech Brings Swift Reaction [tr]
Former NBA Star Tim Hardaway: "I Hate Gay People"[tr]

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  1. I've always thought Michael Medved was gay. He looks, talks and acts like so many of the "ex-gays" we see in the media.

    This isn't the first time Michael Medved has said something against gays. Thou dost protest too much.

    Seriously, he really does seem gay.

    Posted by: Big Dave | Feb 22, 2007 5:02:43 PM

  2. Wow.
    Just, wow.

    Posted by: tjc | Feb 22, 2007 5:04:21 PM

  3. He's either gay or into fat chicks.

    Posted by: Tyler | Feb 22, 2007 5:09:28 PM

  4. just to spout more generalities, i thought most basketball players liked their women with a big budonkadonk.

    Posted by: Scott | Feb 22, 2007 5:22:31 PM

  5. I just want to make clear that I don't support this guy in any way. But I have to say as a gay man I do find myself self-consciously averting my eyes in the locker rooms, and that when another gay man cruises me at the gym (Which happens often) I do feel violated because I am naked and he is probably ugly and sleazy and more than once I have had a hard dick wagged at I can only imagine what that must feel like for a straight man to have that happen...Michael Medved is a moron...but I do agree with him that unwanted sexual advances, even if it is just a momentary gaze, can feel violating Locker rooms are the most homo-erotic places on earth-for us. But for straight guys they are something completely different...I don't know I guess what I am trying to say is that I don't think this issue as all that balck and white....Not that I support seperating gays from the locker room but I also can see why a gay man would make a straight guy uncomfortable...

    Posted by: Tom | Feb 22, 2007 5:44:09 PM

  6. Wait a minute. Every health club in every major American City has gay men and straight men sharing a locker room. Does a furtive glance or 2 make some people uncomfortable? Probably, but tough titty. By choosing to strip and shower in front of others your reasonable expectations of privacy are going to be compromised to some extent. Gym mmebers deal with it, or shower at home. Why should these basic cultural rules be different for professional ball players?

    Posted by: Patrick | Feb 22, 2007 5:46:46 PM

  7. Now gay men are the new fat chick? lol! I love the connotation that all gay men are immediately attracted to straight men.

    And what about about straight men oogling each other's biceps and slapping each other on the rear?

    Posted by: jase | Feb 22, 2007 5:57:42 PM

  8. Ugh! Yellow teeth are so unattractive.

    Posted by: Milo | Feb 22, 2007 5:59:00 PM

  9. I remember when Medved was just trying to be a movie critic without too much success. Then he hit on being an obnoxiously right wing "moral" guy. Whatever gets you noticed I guess.

    I'm appalled that anyone unrelated to Tim Hardaway other than perhaps a paid attorney or other advocate would come forward to defend his remarks. I guess whatever gets you noticed.

    Posted by: John | Feb 22, 2007 6:00:51 PM

  10. Michael Medved is a such a tool, he should have Black & Decker tattooed on his forehead.

    Anyhoot, I am sure cruising goes on in my gym, but I haven't seen anything personally.

    But I do know that they put shower curtains up in already mostly-enclosed, tiny stalls because some of the straight boys thought they were being checked out by some unnamed gay patrons. All they had to do was make an accusation for the gym to cater to their paranoid whims. Now those curtains only trap heat, gather mold and smell bad and god forbid you make eye contact like a human being while changing. Men are bizarre.

    Posted by: Marco | Feb 22, 2007 6:03:12 PM


    What every person that are against having gay men in the lockerroom are saying is that gay men look and straight men don't. WRONG!!! WRONG!!! WRONG!!!!

    The reason behind why a guy looks at another guy has no bearing whether it's size comparison, envy, or sexual in nature. Are they trying to be the thought police?

    Posted by: Jack! | Feb 22, 2007 6:03:25 PM

  12. Everyone should grow up....gays have always been in the lockerroom. Remmber high school?

    If you are a grown man being paid millions to play basketball, and you're worried about someone staring at your precious dick, you're a dick.

    What a country!

    Posted by: Ed | Feb 22, 2007 6:08:23 PM

  13. The haunting fact is that straight men and gay men are over sexualized in the media alike. Now add to the equation the great mystique of the male locker room. This is the ultimate place "the holy grail", the source of permission and/or denial for both alike yet again.

    For the straight man once he has made it into this "private room" whether it is high school, college or professional sports this place is one of status power and control. It has become a symbol of ultimate maleness
    and strength for the professional athlete. The locker room if not achieved at some level in a young man's life can be a sign of athletic failure. It may speak volumes to the man's body, his coordination, his assimilation to others on and off the team. The highest perceived status for many young males is to be a professional athlete as the culture has shifted and the various forms of media has shifted the focus onto these select few individuals.

    For the gay man the locker room has become the place where scorn and/or rejection have been encountered. I could play into stereotypes of the gay youth not good at sports; not because he wanted to be, maybe it was the way things just went for him. Not every boy can make the team;
    however this natural realization becomes amplified into more when the young man is gay. The locker room with its mysterious interior for some gays has become the source of fantasies all of kinds. The gay male who makes it into professional sports knows where he is, respects the power
    of this sacred place and plays the part without incident.

    Hardaway is short-sided in their views however they have never had them challenged within the locker room. There has yet to be a professional NBA player to "come out" while on an active roster for reasons the range from: indifference, fear, respect, honor, power, income, pride and an entire host of others.

    Posted by: Charles | Feb 22, 2007 6:12:57 PM

  14. What a pig. Maybe next time he sits for a photo, he should wear a "no fat chicks" t-shirt and a feed cap.

    Posted by: Brian | Feb 22, 2007 6:18:52 PM

  15. that is one sick bitch.

    Posted by: bmac | Feb 22, 2007 6:28:53 PM

  16. Why is it that as soon as someone dares to speak the truth, self righteous gay guys get up there and start condemning. What this man said is an insight as to why homophobia is out there. Don't shoot the messenger. Maybe we should write to gay porn studios and tell them to stop sexualizing places like locker rooms and athletes and then maybe the would cease to be as overtly sexual as they are. and, yes, guys do look. there is a difference between looking and staring. Some guys don't know the difference. it has gotten to the point where I won't even shower at the gym sometimes. It's amazing that more guys can't go, yes, I can see where he gets that opinion. Just my two cents.

    Posted by: carlos | Feb 22, 2007 6:35:44 PM

  17. Anyone with a pulse knows that Medved is a major horse's ass. That said lets get to the real issue he's skirting around. The fact that straight men do not like being put in the same place that they have put women since the start of time, that of a sexual object.

    Men have leered and lusted after women in all places from the construction site, the street, church, stores, and even in their own homes. Men are pigs, many gay men as well, but straight men are not use to being put in that place, especially if the desire is coming from a member of the same sex, not from two hot lipstick lesbians.

    When I ran the marathon in the Gay Games in Amsterdam one of the nicest memories was after the race. We all went back to the locker room which was co-ed. There were men and women of all ages and types, happily struting around nude, in the bliss of a race well run and a celebration of being gay. I'm sure there was a bit of cruising and lust in the air, but fear of being nude around both sexes was not.

    Posted by: patrick nyc | Feb 22, 2007 6:39:19 PM

  18. Tom and Carlos are idiots. Do us all a favour and let those 2 dumb asses have their own lockeroom so the rest of us don't have to worry about their lack of self control. There, that's my 2 cents. =P

    Posted by: _____ | Feb 22, 2007 6:51:21 PM

  19. And Michael Medved looks super gay in that photo.

    Posted by: _____ | Feb 22, 2007 6:52:37 PM

  20. Since he brought up the military, what are the statistics of the militaries of Great Britain and Israel (to name a few) that allow gay people to serve openly? How many incidents of male/male harrassment have there been? More than male/female? I doubt it.

    Posted by: k | Feb 22, 2007 7:04:37 PM

  21. Medved's one claim to fame is popularizing "Plan 9 from Outer Space" and other golder turkeys. Pretty campy if you ask me. Film critic---rather "fey" profession don't ya think. And he does protest too much about Hardaway. It screams closet queen all they way...

    Posted by: Rich | Feb 22, 2007 7:12:39 PM

  22. Medved is a bigoted sexist homophobic idiot and I told him so in the comments section of his article. He also gives off a very closeted vibe, something I also told him. I also noted that he is not an attractive man. He would definitely fall into the male equivalent of the ugly fat girl category into which he rhetorically shoves gay men. The self-loathing lady doth indeed protest too frickin' much.

    As to checking out in the locker room, I have found that straight men are generally more interested in another man's dick than are gay men. Perhaps it is because we have seen so many more in various states of arousal and positions. We also know that there are "showers" and "growers" whereas most straight men think everyone (else) is a shower. It has also been my experience that the biggest showers (who attract the most attention) tend to be gay men. (Yes, a generalization but I prefaced it by saying that it has been my experience; others may have had different experiences.)

    That said, straight men with big flaccid dicks are inordinately proud of their penis. They strut about unclothed so that other STRAIGHT men can admire them. They tend to lose it, however, if someone perceived as gay notices their endowment and feel compelled to "prove" their masculinity by calling out the perceived gay admirer. Additionally, at the risk of resurrecting the circumcision debate, the first uncut dick many American men see is in the locker room where they are exposed to European and Hispanic men (who have far lower rates of circumcision).

    American men are also much more uncomfortable with their naked bodies than are men from other cultures. It is a leftover, I suppose, from our fundamentalist Protestant religious roots. The saunas in Europe, Japan, and Russia are not sexualized locales but locker rooms in the U.S. have shameful negative connotations.

    Ruminations on men and their dicks when the point of my post is that Medved is a fool.

    Posted by: rudy | Feb 22, 2007 7:25:59 PM

  23. I don't know what Medved is so worried about. It's not like he's ever been in a gym in his life. And even if he had been, I can't imagine anyone looking twice at him.

    Posted by: Roscoe | Feb 22, 2007 7:30:05 PM

  24. Tom, how many times do you think John Amaechi or Ezra Tuaolo wagged their dick at a guy in the locker room, or starred some guy down as they undressed? Despite popular belief, men do have control of themselves. Just because a man is attracted to other men, doesn't mean that he is going to be attracted to all men, or that he can't control the impulse to look at or touch other men.

    Posted by: Cadence | Feb 22, 2007 7:59:56 PM

  25. ...nude beach anyone? I mean I had apprehensions of going to such a beach when last overseas...but my fears, it turned out, were experience was enlightening in that no one there attempted to turn a public situation into an openly sexual one...there were men, women and children, gays and straights present and no sexually erotic vibe, it genuinely seemed to be a non-issue to my relief...once on the beach I was almost immediately overcome by emergent elements of maturity and self-control, and also had too much pride to not behave it was great to be in another situation and be reminded first hand that being naked is not always about sexual intercourse, (the gym being the other), whether homo or hetero neither orientation is only about sex...I tend to view this lockeroom senario as similar to the nude beach one, neither place providing an opportune environment to openly enact a scene from a porno movie, (now in a gay bathouse or sex club that would be altogether different)... so, body parts being in full view? yes...physically admiring thoughts crossing ones mind? yes...the ability to be nude in public and to not be overcome and driven with the urge to have to act out sexually? again, yes...the irony of living in the U.S. is it being the most sexualized culture in the world and at the same time one of the most puritannical creating the feeling of sex and nudity as only dirty or filthy...a pity really...

    Posted by: yeahisaidit | Feb 22, 2007 8:18:16 PM

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