Tim Hardaway Hub

How Tim Hardaway Transformed Into An LGBT Advocate

Back in 2007, NBA point guard Tim Hardaway told a radio host that he hated gay people and even proudly declared himself "homophobic." Six years have since passed and in a newly published featured piece longtime sports columnist Monte Poole highlights how the now retired player has gone from homophobe to advocate for LGBT youth.

Hardaway claims he doesn't want recognition for his newfound work:

6a00d8341c730253ef0191041574f7970cHe regrets the words he uttered six years ago and has since taken action. He attended classes at Miami's YES Institute, which seeks to create a healthy sexual and gender environment for youth. He assists the fundraising efforts of several groups, including the Trevor Project, a national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth

And when Equal Marriage Florida in June launched a petition to amend the definition of marriage as described in the state constitution, Hardaway stepped forward as the first person to offer his signature. Hardaway, 46, said he wants nothing in return for his support. No political points. No publicity. No hugs or handshakes. He said he was comfortable discussing the issue because he has known me since 1989, when he was drafted by the Warriors. "I don't do this for publicity; I normally turn down interviews about this,'' he said. "But I know you. That's why I'm talking to you about it. I do this because I want to do it. I don't tell people that I'm going to talk to people about gay rights.

He talks about the guilt he faced after realizing how his anti-gay remarks affected the LGBT community:

"With what I said, people could think it's OK to throw rocks at them or bully them,'' Hardaway said. "I just wanted to make people understand that what I said wasn't cool. I wanted to make amends for it.' Whereas Hardaway's radio comments were the result of being, in a sense, back on the court, where he was utterly fearless and often led with considerable swagger and ego. He was being macho, responding as macho guys are "expected'' to respond. He now responds from an informed point of view.

"Once I started reading about what was happening with these people -- kids getting beat up, bullied and committing suicide -- I realized I made it OK for people to keep ridiculing them,'' he said. "And I felt bad about it.'' Hardaway's passion comes through the phone from Florida, his tone exuding the conviction of the truly enlightened believer. "I'm not a bully,'' he said. "I don't want anybody to hurt anybody. I don't want anybody to get hurt. I don't want anybody to kill themselves. Life is too precious. And I realize I had made it worse.''

Hardway's come a long way since he first made those anti-gay remarks six years ago. The full piece is well worth a read.

Former NBA Star Tim Hardaway is First Signer of Florida Marriage Equality Petition

Former Miami Heat player Tim Hardaway, who responded to John Amaechi's coming out in 2007 by declaring "I hate gay people," and has since become an advocate for LGBT youth, was the first petition-signer on the Equal Marriage Florida effort to put a proposed constitutional amendment legalizing same-sex marriage in the state on the November 2014 ballot, the Palm Beach Post reports:

HardawayThe campaign must gather more than 680,000 signatures from registered voters to have a chance to get on the ballot.

Signing the same-sex marriage measure comes only a couple months after Hardaway reached out and endorsed NBA player Jason Collins for coming out as the first openly gay athlete in any of the major professional leagues. Hardaway’s son, Tim, Jr., also has just been drafted by the New York Knicks.

Hardaway in 2007 made news for telling a Miami radio interviewer that he didn’t like gay people and acknowledged he was homophobic. After enduring a host of financial sanctions and being barred from activities at an NBA All-Star weekend, Hardaway began a long road toward tolerance, telling another interviewer about the incident, ”I’m going to do whatever I can to correct it.”

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Tim Hardaway Responds to Joakim Noah's Anti-Gay Slur

Former Miami Heat player Tim Hardaway, who responded to John Amaechi's coming out in 2007 by declaring "I hate gay people," appeared on a radio show yesterday and commented on the Joakim Noah gay slur fine.

Hardaway Said Hardaway:

"He took the onus and went ahead and corrected the whole situation, like I did. That's all you can do is correct the situation. You're not trying to hurt anybody. You're not trying to offend anyone. You just have to take the right approach and hold your own self accountable for it and make everything right. That's all you can do....I'm still trying to rectify it. People ask me about it, and I tell them, 'That's in the past. I'm moving forward.'...I still learn from it and it's still a bump in the road for me. But you have to still move forward, still have to keep going, and that's the way it is. I'm not trying to shy away from it. I'm not trying to say I didn't do it. I'm rectifying it. I understand what I said and how I said it, which was wrong. And I'm just trying to move on from it."

Hardaway still works for the Heat as a player program liaison. Shortly after his words against gay people he did some work with the YES Institute, an advocacy center for LGBT youth.

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