"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," Hardaway said while a guest on Sports Talk 790 The Ticket in Miami. "I'm homophobic. I don't like it. It shouldn't be in the world or in the United States."
The host asked Hardaway how he would interact with 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 is right. I don't think he should be in the locker room while we are in the locker room."
If he did find out that a teammate was gay, Hardaway said he would ask for the player to be removed from the team.
"Something has to give," Hardaway said. "If you have 12 other ballplayers in your locker room that's upset and can't concentrate and always worried about him in the locker room or on the court or whatever, it's going to be hard for your teammates to win and accept him as a teammate." SI.com
And here is his "apology" regarding the incident:
"Yes, I regret it. I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said I hate gay people or anything like that," he said. "That was my mistake."
The NBA also issued a statement where they duly noted the "disparity between his views and ours."
Way to really put your foot down and take a strong stance on the issue NBA. You don't necessarily condone homophobia, but hell, you're not about to condemn it either! You wouldn't want to alienate your target audience now would you?
Well NBA, here's an exercise for you: read the same quote and every time you see the words "gay" or "homophobic" replace them with "black" and "racist". I'll give you a minute......
Sounds like we're back in the 40s or 50s doesn't it? Can you imagine the public outrage and strong dissenting statement the NBA would have issued if THAT were to come out of someones mouth on a radio show interview today? And rightly so. It is offensive and racist. Well, so is the real version.
It is a disconcerting and horrifying reminder of the lengths this country still needs to go in the "all men created equal" department. You would think that 231 years would be enough to get it right, but we are obviously so far off from that it is ridiculous.
So, in this month to celebrate black history and the strides society has taken in the fight for equal rights, let's not forget how far we still need to go, for the sake of all people.