2.14.2007

tim hardaway hates gay people

no really, he said so himself. his quote on a radio show:
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.
as i said before just two posts previous to this one, here's an opportunity to confront the issue of sports/homophobia/masculinity head on. imagine if a pro-athlete said that he hated people of color...oh wait, john rocker did and i don't think it turned out good for him. let's see if the same thing happens to hardaway.

again, i'll reiterate my point: sports writers and sports franchises would have you think that sports is ok with gay people in it. this quote shows that some athletes clearly aren't. so let's really write about it and ask athletes why they hate gay people so much. however, i suspect that hardaway will get a pass on this. which is stupid, since it is essentially the same as someone saying that they hate black people.

lastly, i find the last part of hardaway's quote amusing. by definition, if homosexuality shouldn't be in the world, then we can infer from that statement that it shouldn't be in the US. there's no need to tack on the united states part at the end.

three posts in one day, man i must really not want to do any real work.

2 comments:

Ian said...

Is Tim Hardaway still an active NBA player? I haven't heard anything about "the killer crossover king" in years. Anyhow, I'm assuming that he's not, which kind of deflates the John Rocker comparison. Hardaway won't be taking the court tomorrow night in Golden State to thunderous boos from the crowd like Rocker did in New York following his sordid diatribe.

John Rocker was the ace closer for a great Braves team. To put this in context, that would be like Alonzo Mourning opening his mouth and saying that he hates Arabs.

If anything, I think Hardaway will get a pass on this because he's an inactive player. It's a stupid comment, but it doesn't have nearly the effect that it would had it come out of Kobe's mouth.

Something else to think about as we consider the issue: The NBA once had difficulty cracking the color barrier, but now African American (and other black) athletes are in the overwhelming majority. It's a little harder to cling to your racism as it pertains to a sport when the racial minority grows into an overwhelming majority. I'm only saying that this accelerates the acceptance. The first person who calls Rasheed Wallace a "nigger" in the heat of the game is going to get smashed by the 10 guys on his own team that are black, let alone the other team.

Couple this with the fact that the majority of homosexuals probably shy away from the more mainstream and physical sports in the same way that they appear to be drawn toward the fashion industry. (Admit it: You assume that all of the guys competing on project runway are gay.)

The point I'm making is that we have to look at this from the vantage point that the number of gay athletes in the more mainstream sports is likely going to remain flat because of the masculinity involved. If homosexuals are a 10% minority according to high estimates and a 1%-or-fewer minority according to low estimates, and there are 360 athletes in the NBA, then we'd have to assume that there are 36 gay NBA athletes if we go with a high general population estimate.

Given the nature of the sport, and the tendency of homosexual males to be drawn to the more artistic and dance-oriented sports, we're probably looking at a more realistic estimate of ten or fewer gay NBA players. Also, you're unlikely to see the league turn itself into a league where gay players are in the majority in the same manner in which a racial minority now runs the league.

Bottom line: You're stuck with a league that will probably always have a population of gay athletes that's 20 or fewer.

This is before we look at this from a marketing standpoint. David Stern may or may not consider an openly gay NBA player nightmare, but it's just more damage control he has to deal with. Does he, or does he not allow the camera to point at Dirk Nowitski's husband in the stands? Does the league comment on the sexual relationship between Lebron and Carmello?

In any event, if professional athletes only come out once their playing careers are over, then our talking about this doesn't really solve anything. When minorities were breaking barriers, it had to be confronted because Jackie Robinson couldn's coat himself with makeup to hide his racial background. Gay players can play their entire careers without coming out, so until they voluntarily come out of the closet, there's not a whole lot we can do.

By the way, a story about a gay professional athlete of any real consequence would be difficult to keep under wraps in our present information era. I'm only suggesting that if any of the major stars were gay, we'd probably know about it because the WORLD would be waiting to out them.

Bob said...

i'll grant you the situational differences, but i still think that it shouldn't matter. tim hardaway is a prominent name in the nba and he should be taken to task for it.

and i don't buy the "there aren't that many gay players anyway" argument. the reason that there aren't many gay players or the reason why gay athletes are drawn to other sports is because of the unchecked homophobia involved, which i think (and other scholars in this field think...i actually have names this time around...go to JSTOR and look up Michael Messner, Erik Anderson, Jennifer Hargreaves) is connected with the athletic brand of masculinity. it stinks. and that is exactly what i am saying needs to be addressed. because it is not like there aren't gay people who like to play basketball or football. because as the studies that the above authors have mentioned, usually, a gay athlete will attempt to participate in the sport in high school but will be excluded because of his lack of masculinity or it comes out that he is gay in which case, he often subject to physical violence and most certainly emotional violence.

perhaps you are right, maybe high schools and not the NBA are the place to address this, but i think it is safe to say that many of the high school athletes take their cue from pro athletes.