Retired NBA star Tim Hardaway has had a
change of heart on gay rights.
Four years ago, the six-foot,
44-year-old All-Star unleashed a round of homophobic comments during
an appearance on Miami's 790 The Ticket.
When host Dan Le Batard asked, “How
do you deal with a gay teammate?” Hardaway answered: “First of
all I wouldn't want him on my team. And second of all, if he was on
my team, you know, I would really distance myself from him because,
uh, I don't think that is right.”
Later he added: “Well, you know I
hate gay people, so 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
video is embedded in the right panel of this page.)
In subsequent interviews, he attempted
to mend fences by saying: “I shouldn't have said that I hate gay
people or anything like that. I should have just said I don't
condone him being in the locker room.”
At the time, that athlete was former
NBA player John Amaechi, who had recently announced he's gay.
to the El Paso Times, Hardaway on Thursday urged citizens
to oppose recall efforts against Mayor John Cook and city Reps. Susie
Byrd and Steve Ortega. The three lawmakers recently voted to restore
a city ordinance recognizing the partners of gay and lesbian city
workers for the purposes of health benefits. Passage of the law last
year led to a citizen's initiative which overturned the ordinance.
“I would say grow up and catch up
with the times,” Hardaway told reporters during a golf outing.
“It's all around the world.”
He added that as a Black man he should
understand the harmful effects of discrimination.