He Believes He Won’t Be Inducted Into The Hall Of Fame Because Of Comments About Us
According to Hoops Hype, former Golden State Warrior player, Tim Hardaway, is still playing the price for a homophobic tirade over ten years ago. Apparently, he was a part of the original ‘Big 3’ of the Chicago Bulls. The other ‘Big 3’ players were Mitch Richmond and Chris Mullin. Of the trio, Hardaway is the only person to not have been inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame. Hardaway blames his lack of recognition due a radio interview he did where he gave specifically ‘the gays’ a scathing review. Hardaway said:
“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. [Regarding having a gay teammate] First of all, I wouldn’t want him on my team. And second of all, if he was on my team, I would, you know, really distance myself from him because, uh, I don’t think that’s right. And you know I don’t think he should be in the locker room while we’re in the locker room. I wouldn’t even be a part of that.”
The disturbing, bold comments are still available via YouTube. If you can stomach it, have a listen.
Hardaway’s comments caused a great deal of backlash back in 2007. There definitely wasn’t as much social media media back then with Facebook beginning in 2004 and twitter in 2006, just new companies. Imagine if he’d said those comments in the modern age of social media, jeez. Soon after, Hardaway apologized for his gruesome, horrifying statements.
That’s not the end of this. He didn’t just apologize and not take any action like Kevin Hart. Hardaway did incredible work over the last 12 years to recover for his comments by becoming an activist for LGBTQ community. He’s worked with The Trevor Project, has embraced openly gay NBA players like Jason Collins, and was the first celebrity signer to allow same-sex marriage to be voted on in Florida in 2014. Those are pretty powerful actions compared to just some simple words other stars have said and thought were enough.
Still, he’s disappointed his actions for the LGBTQ community may never overturn our opinion on him, or the opinion of the Basketball Hall of Fame President, John Doleva. Hardaway recently said:
“Well, you know, the reason I’m not in [the Hall of Fame] is because of what I said in 2007 about gay people. That’s why I’m not in right now, and I understand it. I hurt a lot of people’s feelings and it came off the wrong way and it was really bad of me to say that. Since then, I’ve turned a wrong into a right. My parents used to always tell me, ‘If you do something wrong, look it in the eye. Don’t back down from it and be scared of it. Go make it right and make people understand that you made a mistake.’ And that’s what I did. I’m trying to do what’s right, supporting gay people and transgender people. I want people to understand [what they go through] and understand them as people. They shouldn’t be seen as ‘other’ people. You shouldn’t call them [derogatory names] or look at them all ugly. Those are people too. They should get to live their lives just like we live our lives and that means having freedom and having fun. They should get to enjoy their life the way they’re supposed to enjoy life. … I’ve talked to people from the LGBTQ community [and I tell them], ‘You’re supposed to have the same rights that we have and supposed to be able to do everything that we do. You shouldn’t be outcast.’ But, hey, I understand the ramifications.”
(Pictured Above: Richmond, Hardaway, & Mullen in 1991)
I spoke to my very heterosexual, male cousin before writing this article. Apparently, Hardaway may be making excuses for why he hasn’t been inducted into the Hall of Fame, but apparently he wasn’t too elite to begin with. At the end of the day, I won’t light my torch and head for the hills if he’s inducted, but, hopefully it’s not his cruel comments keeping him at bay, but a lack of talent.
Not to sound like a sympathizer, because I’m not, but I genuinely believe Hardaway has made sincere efforts to show remorse to the LGBTQ community. I can smell a phony from a mile away and I’m arguably the fakest person I know, but something about his actions speak volumes to me. I’d consider him forgiven. It’s so quick we forget Hillary Clinton was vocal about being anti same-sex marriage, yet we, as a proverbial we, voted for her to be President as if she’s always been an ally to us. People change, but they won’t if we never give them the chance.
Do you think Hardaway’s comments should forever prevent him from being inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame?
H/T: Hoops Hype
Writer’s Note: This is the opinion of one Instinct Magazine Contributor and does not reflect the views of Instinct Magazine itself or fellow contributors.