Jason Howard Green

Jason Howard Green

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Tim Hardaway Trying to Make Amends

A couple of years ago after John Ameachi came out of the closet (making him the first and still only NBA player to come out of the closet) Tim Hardaway immediately responded with some of the most homophobic and hateful comments about the gay community I've heard. His comments, just in case you don't recall, were as follows . . .

Well, you know I hate gay people, so I let it be known. I don't like gay people and I don't like to be around gay people. I am homophobic. I don't like it. It shouldn't be in the world or in the United States.

The backlash that followed was swift and harsh. The NBA immediately pulled him from some of the events at which he was supposed to appear. Public outcry was loud and few people held their tongues in stating how stupid and hateful his comments were. But Tim Hardaway dissappeared from our radar almost as quickly as he appeared. I don't think anyone forgot about what he did, but our focused quickly shifted to the next hot topic the media was forcing down our throats.

Hardaway did apologize for his comments but that was not media worthy so most people are unaware of this. Apologies are not really news worthy - so of course we're not going to hear about them. And he promised he would do what he could to make amends for any hurt he caused.

It looks like he's trying. According to David Wylie, a committee chairman for the Trevor Project of Miami, Tim Hardaway is offering to sponsor an event for the organization. The Trevor Project is a 24/7 crisis prevention helpline for gay and question youth and is considered by many to be one of the most important LGBT youth organizations in the country. According to Wylie, "His foundation approached us and just said, 'Hey, is there any way we can help?' He wasn't looking for PR."

Looks like Tim is trying to follow through on his commitment to remedy his relationship with the LGBT community. I think it's great that he is offering to help the Trevor Project but what I find most interesting is that there was no PR tied to this. While we don't know all details (their PR plan could have been to go to the media after the project) I still think its noteworthy that this action is being taken. Hardaway could have simply stuck to his hateful mindset and ignored us altogether. He is retired from the NBA so I don't know if there would have been a lot of additional backlash from his comments if he didn't do anything at all. So I for one want to applaud him for what he's doing. Hopeful he has changed the way he feels about gay people.

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