Over the past 24 hours message boards and news outlets have been on fire with comments in reaction to Tim Hardaway's homophobic statements about gay people. He has since issued two different apologies that range from being completely insincere to being so articulate and thoughtful that it's obvious it was written by someone else.
Let's examine the apology that was obviously crafted by a team of people who are working overtime to salvage what's left of his career at this point.
"As an African-American, I know all too well the negative thoughts and feelings hatred and bigotry cause," "I regret and apologize for the statements that I made that have certainly caused the same kinds of feelings and reactions. "I especially apologize to my fans, friends and family in Miami and Chicago. I am committed to examining my feelings and will recognize, appreciate and respect the differences among people in our society," he said. "I regret any embarrassment I have caused the league on the eve of one of their greatest annual events."
Translation: I still hate you gay people and I'm sorry that I expressed my feelings publicly, but my agent and publicist have instructed me to apologize or run the risk of losing all of the material posessions that I've acquired that make me feel like a man.
Tim's actions are disturbing on so many different levels. I've heard many different people say they respect him for being honest enought to share his homophobic feelings in public, at least we know where he stands. I think we're all aware that many players in the NBA share the same views, but the difference is they haven't chosen to display their intense hatred for a group of people in front of the entire world.
The part of this drama that I think is so unfortuante is that he's discriminating against his own people. Has he not noticed that the NBA is overwhelmingly dominated by African-American males? Black people in this country are all too familiar with the effects of bigotry and oppression, yet homophobic statements, often times supported by religion consistently emerge from our community, it makes absolutely no sense.
One of Hardaway's main concerns is having to share a locker room with a gay teammate. I'm beginning to wonder along with Dallas Maverick's Mark Cuban if "maybe he just broke up with his boyfriend and is really angry", not to mention confused about his own sexuality. It baffles me that some straight men believe that all gay men will automatically be attracted to them and desire a sexual relationship. News flash, we're picky and we're aware of your "shortcomings" Tim!
I agree with the opinions of many activists that he should feel the seriousness of his statements in his pocket. The National Black Justice Coalition quickly released a statement condemning his actions." It is obvious that from the workplace to the basketball courts, gay people continue to be brunt of aggression and attacks from others intolerant of who we are.
We hope that Mr. Hardaway will come to understand the gravity of his words, words that if put into action incite physical violence. We at NBJC reach out to Tim and invite him to become part of the solution and not the catalyst which causes the problem. NBJC is officially inviting Tim Hardaway to attend our 2nd Annual Black Church Summit in Philadelphia where Black churches from across the country will gather to discuss how to combat homophobia within the Black community." -Alexander Robinson