Lots has been made about former NBA player John Amaechi coming out of the closet last week. Synergy minded ESPN has been pimping the story for days on end. Almost more interesting than Amaechi's coming out was the almost exclusively positive reception from the sports and NBA community. Mark Cuban said an active NBA player coming out would become rich, and even Chris Broussard, of ESPN, as well as a "a born-again, Bible-believing Christian" had a positive reaction. With all of this positive energy flowing from this story, it was only a matter of time before the other shoe dropped.
Former NBA All-Star Tim Hardaway stepped in today to fill that void, stepping out to voice his opposition to Amaechi. Not only did Hardaway come out against Amaechi's action, but went far enough to say that he hates gay people. Let Tim tell you in his own words just how he feels:
"First of all I wouldn't want him on my team," said Hardaway. "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 when we're in the locker room."
"Well, you know, I hate gay people," Hardaway said in response to Le Batard. "I let it be known I don't like gay people. I don't like to be around gay people. I'm homophobic. It shouldn't be in the world, in the United States, I don't like it."
It's not surprising that someone voiced their opposition to this, as we live in a country where numerous states have voted in favor of anti-gay marriage ammendments. Such dissent, however, is usually done in a subtle, subversive way. That someone spoke out so virulently, especially a seasoned 5-time All Star like Tim Hardaway did it, is a bigger surprise. Hardaway should have known better, and in the end he'll be more well known for his ill-advised comments than the great career he had.