Revolution #80, March 4, 2007
Jeers to Tim Hardaway
Jeers to former NBA player Tim Hardaway, who openly declared his hatred of gay people on a Miami radio show on February 13: "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." Then, discussing the fact that retired NBA player John Amaechi had just come out as gay, Hardaway mouthed more ignorant anti-gay paranoia and macho garbage: "First of all, I wouldn't want [Amaechi] 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.”
This anti-gay torrent from Hardaway is poisonous and should not be tolerated. It's just as prejudiced and reactionary as if a white man got on a radio show declaring that he “doesn't like to be around” Black people, and thinks Black people “shouldn't be in the world or in the United States.” Or if a man of any nationality got up and said women should be considered slaves. This kind of shit has to be answered immediately by people—including by those in the public eye—with strong and unequivocal repudiation.
Some people defend Hardaway by saying he is just “expressing his opinion.” No way. When a public figure like Hardaway says something like this, it has real, harmful effects in society. His hateful speech reflects and reinforces systematic discrimination against gays and the whole oppressive relations and outlook of patriarchy.
When Hardaway says that homosexuality “shouldn't be in the world,” he's arguing for the world of oppressive patriarchal relations that exist under capitalism--a world where women are “feminine” and subservient, and men are “manly” and dominate over women, where being a “man” means treating gay people and women as less than fully human, or not human at all. It leads to the sickest of anti-gay harassment and even murder, like the killings of Matthew Shepard and Sakia Gunn, youth who were murdered just for being gay. And let's not forget how Hitler and the Nazis targeted gay people for elimination.
Hardaway should be sharply criticized and called out for what he said, and this kind of backward thinking should be held up and exposed for criticism and struggle--including in the Black community, where this shit has unfortunately been tolerated way too much. Nobody should accept the lame “apology” Hardaway made. Instead he should take responsibility for the ugly and oppressive morality he was advocating -- and he should take responsibility for changing his thinking
If you like this article, subscribe, donate to and sustain Revolution newspaper.