Basketball | John Amaechi | News | Sports | Tim Hardaway

Amaechi: Hardaway Anti-Gay Comments "Illustrate the Problem"

In an interview with the Associated Press Thursday, former NBA player John Amaechi spoke out about former NBA player Tim Hardaway's comments about gay people.

Amaechiespn_1Said Amaechi: "I don't need Tim's comments to realize there's a problem. People said that I should just shut up and go away - now they have to rethink that."

Hardaway made the comments to a radio host Wednesday, when asked about Amaechi's recent disclosure that he is gay. Said Hardaway: "First of all I wouldn't want him on my team. Second of all, if he was on my team I would really distance myself from him because I don't think that's right and I don't think he should be in the locker room while we're in the locker room...Well, you know, I hate gay people. I let it be known, I don't like gay people. I don't like to be around gay people...Yeah, I'm 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." (video)

Amaechi added: "His words pollute the atmosphere. It creates an atmosphere that allows young gays and lesbians to be harassed in school, creates an atmosphere where in 33 states you can lose your job, and where anti-gay and lesbian issues are used for political gain. It's an atmosphere that hurts all of us, not just gay people. Famously, they're saying in 2007 that homophobia is not an issue. While (Hardaway) is not a representative of the NBA or of straight men, there's no point pretending it's not an opinion that is out there."

Amaechi also spoke to Dan Le Batarad (the host of the show on which Hardaway spewed his hate) at the Miami Herald on Wednesday evening saying that Hardaway's comments open a window into what gay athletes may have to face in professional sports. Said Amaechi: "I'm actually tempted to laugh. Finally, someone who is honest. It is ridiculous, absurd, petty, bigoted and shows a lack of empathy that is gargantuan and unfathomable. But it is honest. And it illustrates the problem better than any of the fuzzy language other people have used so far.''

you may have missed...
Former NBA Star Tim Hardaway: "I Hate Gay People" [tr]
Former NBA Player John Amaechi on Outside the Lines: I'm Gay [tr]

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  1. I'm *so* glad that the articulate guy is the one in our camp! Go Amaechi, Go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted by: peterparker | Feb 15, 2007 1:12:06 PM

  2. No one seems to remember back in the 1980's and 1990's when Tim played ball in the San Francisco Bay Area... and all the rumors about him being gay. But it's the same old story... the one who shouts the loudest is the guilty one. And this punk ass bitch knows good and damn well, he plays with dick. And it has nothing to do with him being black... it's just ignorance and camouflage... and he, too, will get outed.

    Posted by: Remember | Feb 15, 2007 1:18:36 PM

  3. Amaechi continues to impress me with each comment he makes. He's very well spoken and a strong role model for all of us.

    Posted by: chrisb | Feb 15, 2007 1:18:49 PM

  4. God I love this guy!

    Posted by: Giovanni | Feb 15, 2007 1:22:32 PM

  5. I have an instant appreciation for this guy. When Amaechi says "It's an atmosphere that hurts all of us, not just gay people" he's so right on. This kind of hate, or bigotry, or whatever you want to call it perpetuates a larger culture of vitriol that's slowly burning everyone, not just those who spew the first salvo. I really appreciate that he's trying to rise above it with his comments. Something for all of us to think about as we respond to Hardaway-type crap in life (or maybe even another gay guy who writes something we disagree with on a blog—just sayin).

    Posted by: Kurt | Feb 15, 2007 1:25:21 PM

  6. Message to Tim: I hate stupid people, but I still think that you have the right to exist. Replace with Black and you have pretty much the same things that white people said about Black people not too long ago.

    So, shut up and stop being such an ass. Oh, what a minute, your stupid comments make you look like an idiot and give Meech a chance to show how smart and fab gay men can be.

    Posted by: Bloggernista | Feb 15, 2007 1:28:14 PM

  7. Amaechi is right. I find it puzzling and troubling that Hardaway, as a black man, as someone who is part of minority group that would know a thing or two about being discriminated against would refuse to be a little more understanding of what Amaechi is going through.

    Posted by: Karim | Feb 15, 2007 1:31:49 PM

  8. Hardaway was, is and always will be a complete and total asshole. Does he really think John was the only gay NBA player and that there are none currently playing? Does he really think there are no gay and lesbian NBA fans?

    Fuck Hardaway.

    Posted by: Marco | Feb 15, 2007 1:39:14 PM

  9. How easy it is to say negative comments about gays. Imagine the uproar if someone said the same statement but substituted the word "gay" with "black man"

    Posted by: Gary | Feb 15, 2007 1:41:20 PM

  10. From the second Hardaway picked up a basketball he ceased being a "black man in America" and became a superstar be it from the projects or the plains. I think it's safe to say that for most of his life he has been told he was special by everyone black, white and emerald green - his every whim, fancy and mood catered to and like most professional atheletes grew up in a golden sports bubble so I am not entirely sure his life experience could have led him to any other conclusions.

    Posted by: Giovanni | Feb 15, 2007 1:44:37 PM


    Posted by: SHANAE | Feb 15, 2007 1:47:00 PM

  12. I'm not going any where near the gay/black experience ride here at Towleroad-Land, but I do want state my appreciation for the pitch-perfect response given by Amaechi.

    Posted by: Will | Feb 15, 2007 2:02:08 PM


    Posted by: matt | Feb 15, 2007 2:03:55 PM

  14. On a somewhat related note, John Amaechi's book is out and it's awesome - Man in the Middle, My Life in and Out of Bounds. It is really funny, and surprising, and a good read. He talks about hating exercise and loving carbs, and how he went from a fat 17-year old who had never touched a basketball to the NBA, while never losing awareness of the fact that sports just aren't all that important. The book isn't really being promoted in bookstores, so you have to hunt it down in the Sports section. It's definitely worth it.

    Posted by: cd | Feb 15, 2007 2:05:43 PM

  15. A way with words AND gorgeous..

    I feel so much love for this guy and I don't even know him.

    Posted by: atheist | Feb 15, 2007 2:17:11 PM

  16. Right on, Matt... lol...

    Amaechi has impressed me with his patience and his ability to confront moronic behavior with reason and empathy. I'm glad he's on our side.

    Posted by: Brian | Feb 15, 2007 2:21:28 PM

  17. Amaechi for president! :)

    Tim Hardaway is a bloated, ignorant, petty, hotheaded jerk that the NBA should ban from all company-sponsored activity forever. Want to live in a world where you'll have no contact with gays, Tim - then go back to the rock you crawled out from under, where you can enjoy having no job, no family, no friends, no sports, no art, no societal framework whatsoever. Have fun being a village idiot all by yourself! Hardaway's not an All-Star, let alone a hall of Famer - he's just a self-hating, bitter fool.

    I never thought I'd see the day where I would appreciate the words of Sir Charles Barkley on an important social subject, but there ya go.

    Posted by: Susan | Feb 15, 2007 4:02:48 PM

  18. I appreciate Tim's blatant honesty, even if he's not someone I'd be BFF with. It's nice to have someone just lay it out there rather than a lot of the pussy-footing that goes on in the name of "tolerance".

    Maybe he needs to find out where Isiah Washington went for his quickie therapy to be cured.

    Posted by: Jerry | Feb 15, 2007 4:06:13 PM

  19. ESPN's website has a great podcast of Mike Greenberg interviewing Amaechi about Hardaway's comments. Greenberg has always been gay-friendly (in the podcast he says he grew up in Greenwich Village) and calls Hardaway and his thoughts 'disgusting'.

    Posted by: CJS | Feb 15, 2007 4:34:32 PM

  20. That's good, because I really do not like stupid fucking black athletes who have no intellect except for throwing a ball around. And I don't want to be around them either!

    Posted by: whatever | Feb 15, 2007 4:51:26 PM

  21. As the mother of a gay son, I am outraged and shocked at the comments of Tim Hardaway. Tim, you didn't choose to be born black, and gay people didn't choose to be born gay. Amaechi, I applaud you for having the courage to come out.

    Posted by: Allison | Feb 15, 2007 4:53:40 PM

  22. John Amaechi ROCKS!!!

    He has got to be one of the most well spoken out, gay celebrities on the scene today. Bar none!

    I am more and more impressed with this man every time I hear him speak. He is wise beyond his young years.

    And on a completely shallow note, he's sure ain't hard to look at either!

    Funny story:

    My son came home from school on Monday and asked me if I knew who "Donna Meechie" was. Knowing where he was going with his question I said, "No, why?" He said he overheard some people say that she was famous and had just come out as gay. I told him that first of all the name is Don Amechi not Donna Meechie and second of all it wasn't Don Amechi, the actor from Cocoon, it was John Amaechi a former NBA player.

    Of course had he not spent the weekend at a friend's house he would have gotten the name and story right from the get go because he would have watched the ESPN interview with his dads. None the less, I thought his confusion was a classic moment and funny as hell. It will be a story that I can embarrass him with for years to come! That's what dad's are for after all.

    Posted by: Zeke | Feb 15, 2007 4:57:32 PM

  23. Zeke that is so cute.

    John Amaechi is amazing. I love him on a multitude of levels.

    Posted by: Jack! | Feb 15, 2007 5:35:08 PM

  24. Hardaway is obviously a self loathing closet case who didn't get properly fucked...YET! Every "straight" man I know is secure enough in their own sexuality that they don't make an issue of it. Just a matter of time before he is outed or comes out. Sad but true.

    Posted by: ShawnSF | Feb 15, 2007 6:32:30 PM

  25. Chrisb, careful, you just about said articulate..

    Posted by: M | Feb 15, 2007 6:40:04 PM

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