Earlier today news that former NBA player Tim Hardaway made the following statement about John Ameche another former player who admitted being gay, “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. I’m homophobic.” — Tim Hardaway, on Dan Le Batard’s radio show made all the sports and news talk shows. What strikes me is not the idea that someone is opposed to the gay lifestyle but the use of the word hate. I am not one to judge people like John Ameche for his lifestyle or Tim Hardaway for his comments, that is for a greater being than I am, what I do have a problem with is the lack of respect for a fellow human being and the hypocracy that is Tim Hardaway, his comments and others who have the same deep seated anger.
While listening to the Colin Cowherd talk show on ESPN radio this morning, I was astonished at the number of angry callers who agreed in principle with Mr. Hardaway. One caller claimed that since he was molested as a child he had a good reason for hating gays. Thankfully, Mr. Cowherd admonished him and reminded him that fully 80% of child molesters are heterosexual not homosexual. It is through ignorance that we generate hate, not intelligence. Hate is a base emotion that is borne of frustration and lack of knowledge for the most part.
Gene Wojciechowski wrote what I think is a brilliant response to this situation where his major astonishment is how a man like Hardaway can show such bigotry since he “…played at the same university and for the same coach who, years earlier, helped destroy racial stereotypes by starting five African-American players against all-white Kentucky in the 1966 NCAA Final Four championship game.” So I guess Mr. Hardaway feels it is all right to be a bigot against gays but not blacks.
What I hope for is that news of another gay person coming out of the closet is relegated to the back page of the newspaper, buried with other unimportant issues. The same for the announcement that this Super Bowl is the first with two black head coaches or other news like that. My ideal world would be one where people who are unique don’t have to hide from the spotlight but also that they don’t need to have a spotlight shown on them because they are different.
There are far more pressing issues in this world than the fact that an athlete is gay or that an ignorant ex-player hates him. Let’s move on to more important things like saving our environment or making the world a better place for our children to live in. Oh, and if you have some hate mail for me because of my point of view, just leave it in the draft box because I won’t pay any attention to it.