Former Miami Heat guard Tim Hardaway made headlines in 2007 after boldly proclaiming that he "hated gay people" after fellow retired NBA player John Amaechi became the first professional basketball player to reveal that he is gay.
The backlash against Hardaway was swift and harsh from the gay community as well as the NBA. In an ever changing society where homophobia is becoming less tolerated in many places, Hardaway has paid a price for his hate-filled rant, but has he changed?
The Miami Herald reports:
Hardaway will co-sponsor a South Beach fundraiser Sunday for The Trevor Project -- a national suicide prevention group for gay youth.
"Gays and lesbians, we don't have to accept the act, but we have to accept them as people. Especially children, we don't want them to kill themselves. We want them to live their lives as they want to,'' said Hardaway, who took several training sessions at YES Institute, a local anti-suicide group for gay youth.
After the anti-gay rant, Hardaway lost his advertising endorsements and income.
"The endorsements will never come back. People have taken that and it's gone. I understand that. I'm trying to look for work and provide for my family,'' he said. "All that stuff has left me high and dry. I have to dig for work.''
Hardaway has repeatedly apologized for what he said, but still wants to know who's gay in the locker room:
"We have a right to know. We'd say, `How do you want to do this? Do you want to go into the shower first, or do you want me to go into the shower first?' ''
Back then, he wouldn't have showered with a gay teammate, but today he might.
"I've probably already done it and not even known it.''
It's a shame that straight men like Hardaway wrongly assume that gay men cannot separate their personal and professional lives and we're out to bone every guy we come in contact with. And we've seen what he has to offer and personally I'm not impressed.