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]

Comments

  1. Remember says

    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.

  2. Kurt says

    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).

  3. says

    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.

  4. says

    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.

  5. Marco says

    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.

  6. Gary says

    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”

  7. Giovanni says

    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.

  8. SHANAE says

    I AM EMBARASSED BY MR. HARDAWAY’S INSENSITIVE RANTINGS BUT LETS GET ONE THING STRAIGHT BEING GAY IS NOT THE SAME AS BEING BLACK. SO FOR ALL THE GAY PEOPLE WHO LIKE TO LINE UP OUR STRUGGLES COME OFF OF IT!! IT’S A SLAP IN THE FACE.

  9. Will says

    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.

  10. matt says

    I WANT TO SLAP YOU IN THE FACE AGAIN, BECAUSE IT’S OBVIOUSLY NOT THE “SAME THING” BUT HAS PARALLELS. MAYBE YOU COULD TAKE YOUR FINGER OFF THE CAPS LOCK KEY AND FLIP THROUGH A HISTORY BOOK.

  11. cd says

    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.

  12. Brian says

    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.

  13. Susan says

    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.

  14. Jerry says

    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.

  15. CJS says

    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’.

  16. whatever says

    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!

  17. Allison says

    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.

  18. Zeke says

    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.

  19. ShawnSF says

    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.

  20. ChristyLove says

    Look Miss SHANAE–you don’t know wtf you are talking about. No one would be stupid enough to claim they’re the same thing but groups and people can take inspiration from others, they can draw parallels. You’re claiming it’s “a slap in the face” is just ignorant. Imitation is a form of flattery. You may not want to admit it but, girl, you just don’t like gay people.

  21. justine says

    i don’t think there is a need to compare race with this jerk and his comments, his being black has nothing to do with it, and some of these dizzy queens will go overbaord with thier racist crap like they always do.

    bush, the usa president probaly feels the same way and has made intolerance for gays a public sport and he isn’t black, nor is dobson or any of the other homophobic jerks with more hate than common sense. as for the amaechi, not impressed at all, if he came out when he was playing, that would be one thing, now some are calling him a “hero?” why? hes out to sell books, and is hardly a “hero” to this gay man. a hero are the gay activist, or someone like newsome the mayor of san francisco, and those who are out and proud and fighting for equality on a daily basis, not some over paid sports figure who creeps out of the closet after the fact.

    peace.

  22. mark m says

    Amaechi is so far above Hardaway in the moral high ground it’s actually kind of amusing. Let’s be honest. Athletes aren’t exactly picked for their mental prowess. From the time they are knee-high to a duck they are encouraged to put their physical attributes first and book smarts second (if ever).

    Amaechi proves that one can rise above that and have it all – the sports legacy, the smarts, the looks, the charm.

    It just feeds into my belief that gay people are actually a more evolved form of man.

    Now if we could just all begin acting like it *sigh*

  23. Mike says

    Hey guys, this idiot Hardaway (how gay is that name) owns a car wash and chicken wings business in Fla. Hit him in his wallet. Let him know how we feel. Here is the car wash info:
    Tim Hardaway US 1 Car Wash
    3501 S. Dixie Hwy
    Miami, FL 33133
    (305) 447-9998

  24. says

    I am very impressed that Amaechi is taking the high road and that Tim’s comments have only fueled his effort in speaking out. I am going to post Hardaway’s contact information on my blog as well.

    Thanks Mike for posting his business contact information.

  25. CJ says

    Listen, the man spoke his personal opinion, which is actually shared by many. So what is wrong with that? Being a homo is wrong. That is just all there is to it. There is something mentally wrong with you if you are a man and want a penis in your a ss. You need help. Just because US society is starting to accept it doesnt mean it is right. What is next? We let pedophiles have sex with kids? OH but thats different you say. How so? Its something else that is strange and not normal. Just like being a homo. Who is to say that that isnt the next thing that will be tolerated just because certain people like to do that. Being a queer is wrong and should not be tolerated, accepted, or be pushed on society to accept like it has been over the last few years. I am sick of it. If you are a fag, then seek help. Do whatever you need to to fix your problem. That is sick. And God hates your sin. He doesnt hate you, but he hates your acts. Tim Hardaway shouldve worded it different. Hate the sin of homosexuality, but not the sinner.

  26. CJ says

    Sure thing there Fangirlhater. Fitting name i suppose for someone like you. You go ahead and stay in denial of what you do is wrong. I really dont get how hard it is to realize that wanting a cock in your mouth or ass is wrong (if youre a male). You are fcked up. IT IS UN_NATURAL FOR A MAN TO WANT THOSE THINGS!!! How hard is that to understand. I am in the military, and I thank God that not many gays join. Sure, a few have slipped through the cracks and made it in, but its pretty easy to tell who they are. I have run across a couple since ive been in. One ended up liking not only dudes, but little boys too. Thankfully, he is doing time in prison now. Maybe thats something they should do for all queers. Put them in prison or maybe just a mental hospital so they can get fixed what is wrong with their head. In case you dont know, a study was done on dead men. Some were gay, some not. The ones who were gay had something undersized in their brains. Dont laugh cuz this is true. So why dont all you homos, go get yourselves checked out and seek any help that may be available to you. For you not to like pussy or like females is just a very sad thing. God, how sick it must be to have some other dudes dick in your ass. How sick it must be to enjoy putting your face in some dudes ass and actually liking it.

  27. Tom says

    CJ,

    Oh, my friend, you’ve got some issues. If you’re truly secure in your own sexuality, why would you be so obsessed with what other people do in their own bedrooms and be amusing yourself by hanging out on gay web sites?

    You know you want it, bitch and you’re scared shitless to admit it. Big tough military boy. Fuck you.

  28. says

    Oh and by the way, you know quite a bit(or at least, you THINK you do) about the in’s & out’s of gay sex. Why describe in such graphic detail…what I’m assuming you wouldn’t go near? Why do you know so much about it, and enjoy cruising(or trolling) gay websites? Well, you’ll keep wasting my time if I keep responding to you, so this is the last time I will. Please feel free to visit the site again(as I’m sure you often do), just don’t post anything until you’re ready to stop kidding yourself. kthnxdie.

  29. sebastien querec says

    I think he just represents what America is really like…Why should he thinks different when everyone around him says it’s right!!!

    Too many people think gaybashing is a perfectly natural way to deal with us. It’s not wrong in their eyes…

    Appaling , but not surprising…Unfortunately.

  30. Joey says

    Like Mark M and Mike say… Hit him in his pocket. Hardaway thinks like some superficial, uneducated guy who is insecure with his own sexuality. I applaud Amaechi, and plan to buy his book. The has balls, and bigger ball than Hardaway. Good call for the NBA for banning Hardaway from attending any reideer games for All-Star weekend… What a loser. Hardaway is not the kind of guy anyone (kids) can look up to, Amaechi is. Hopefully his coming out will keep some kids from going down, six-feet under. He IS someone to look up to.

  31. Jack! says

    Somehow gay people are always the bad guys. You have straight people that hate gays. Yet gay people believe they are self-hating gays.

    Yes there are self-hating gays that overtly express there hatred but the overwhelming majority that hate gay people are straight.

  32. Da says

    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.”
    ____

    That’s exactely how I feel. It made me want to laugh, because it’s so outrageous!! hah

    But I’m way past needing an apology for every homophobe’s PR mishap in the media. I don’t want to be liked – I want equality and I mean business! We shouldn’t settle for anything less than a community with strong representants in every sector of trade: business, entertainment, music, movies, politics, media, tv, etc..

    Cause we have to recognize that people like Hardaway are just the tip of the iceberg (and he’s definitively a ‘doofus’ in the way he related of his feelings). The real new conservative mafia which is against us is more skilled in the media, but that’s where it ends cause they’re absolutely shameless, lawless and hainous when it comes to achieving their goals. It’s important that as GLBT we’re aware of this, remain vigilent towards our rights, and that everyone who has a say or just a voice uses it to ensure we’re not just represented but positively as we deserve.

  33. ShawnSF says

    Do the majority of straight people really HATE gay people? Some folks are uncomfortable with what they don’t understand. Does discomfort equate to HATE? Only with the religious jealots,political opportunists and closet cases like Hardonway!
    EVERYONE on the planet has a brother,sister,father,mother,co-worker,friend,etc. that is openly/quietly gay and THE MAJORITY love and accept that person for who they are as a human being.
    Hardonway should get the fuck out of the United States and move to a country that suits his hateful belief system…Jamaica would be a good fit.

  34. Jack! says

    Shut up shawnsf! What world do you live in? No the majority do NOT love gay people. Judging by your anti-gay comments toward Hardaway you have some self-hatred to deal with. You only start calling people names when they are gay or you believe they are gay.

  35. Da says

    “Do the majority of straight people really HATE gay people? Some folks are uncomfortable with what they don’t understand. Does discomfort equate to HATE? Only with the religious jealots,political opportunists and closet cases like Hardonway!”
    Posted by: ShawnSF |

    If you’re refering to my post, I never said the majority of straight people “hate” gays (or are uncomfortable with us as you put it) – I know we have a lot of allies in the straight community, and that shows like Queer as Folk have plenty of loyal fan girls.

    But in reality – having “fans” doesn’t translate in equal rights, nor complete visibility, nor political force…and that’s exactely what we’re aiming for. Nothing less.

    And if I qualified our facists enemies as being “shameless, lawless and hainous” it’s because I observed and delt with them enough to know. I know all about their tactics for trying to push us back in the backyard of many areas of mainstream life, so I definitively know what it takes to beat them.

    So my friend, don’t kid yourself here thinking we’re going to rest on our laurels and stop fighting for all of which we’re entitled to. Not gonna happen!!

  36. says

    STATEMENT FROM FREEDOM DEMOCRATS, MIAMI, FL.
    Miami Dade Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Democratic Caucus
    RE: Mr. Tim Hardaway’s Anti-Gay Comments

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Miami, Florida (February 15, 2007) – Freedom Democrats, the Miami Dade Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Democratic Caucus, categorically, and with great concern, denounce the recent comments of Mr. Tim Hardaway. Mr. Hardaway’s insensitive and bigoted comments once again show that many people in the United States have a long way to go before affording the same respect and rights that they expect for themselves.

    For those who do not know, Mr. Hardaway was an accomplished professional athlete who is a hero to many people. He retired from the NBA at the end of the 2003 season. He reached 5,000 points and 2,500 assists faster than any NBA player in history, but for the legend Oscar Robertson. He was a five time NBA All-Star, Miami Heat Guard, from 1996-2001, all time assist leader for the Miami Heat and was drafted 14th in the 1989 NBA draft out of the University of Texas, El Paso.

    Freedom Democrats respect and embrace the rights of each citizen of the United States of America to free speech. We are also aware of the fact that many citizens unfortunately still cannot live side by side with each other and embrace the uniqueness of each person. We, as an organization that represent the civil and human rights of all people, denounce and hold accountable any person that uses any forum to advance hatred and bigotry to the detriment of other citizens of the United States (See http://www.FreedomDems.org.)

    Through his comments, Mr. Hardoway feeds the fires of insidious intolerance that pervades our society. Mr. Hardaway seems to have forgotten the history of struggles so many minorities have suffered through to gain basic human and civil rights throughout the world. Freedom Democrats believes that this type of rhetoric creates an atmosphere and environment that allows for the ongoing harassment of young GLBT peoples in our schools, discrimination in the workplace and in housing, and the lack of laws which would protect the civil and human rights of GLBT peoples throughout Miami-Dade County, Florida, and The United States of America.

    Mr. Hardaway is a respected citizen and celebrity of Miami, a respected businessman and a 5 time NBA All Star. He makes money off of his appearances and his celebrity recognition has presumably been good for his two businesses he owns in Miami. Furthermore, Mr. Hardaway has spoken at many schools and has been a role model and hero for many kids and young adults with his on-the-court grit and excellence. He now gives those same kids and young adults the power, excuse, and platform through his words and example, to practice bigotry and oppress a group of people who he chooses to “hate” (his own word).

    His remarks show people and our leaders that great work still needs to be done to overcome learned prejudices in order to move our society to a more open, loving, and tolerant place that respects all people for whom they are as American citizens and not pariahs to be cast out of our society.

    The Freedom Democrats call on Miami Dade County, and all of those citizens and people who respect and embrace diversity, to not patronize Mr. Hardway’s business at Tim Hardaway US1 Car Wash, 3501 S. Dixie Highway, Miami, Florida, 305-447-9998, until that time that Mr. Hardaway makes a public apology to the citizens of Miami Dade, in a public news conference, for fueling bigotry, hatred and intolerance and engages in practices that would justify any citizen patronizing his business.

    *****************************************************************
    Chip Arndt
    President, Freedom Democrats
    Info@FreedomDems.org
    305.895.9466 x113

  37. Da says

    Posted by: Freedom Democrats |

    I just read your powerful statement and visited your page.

    And if I may..on behalf of the LGBT you so bravely and relentlessly stand up for, I’d love to give you a standing ovation. *clap clap*

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

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