Tim Hardaway No Longer Matters

Album Cover: Vitalogy

"Wait for signs, believe in lies, to get by, it's divine."
Pearl Jam / Tremor Christ

Posted on February 14, 2007 11:59 PM in Sports
Warning: This blog entry was written two or more years ago. Therefore, it may contain broken links, out-dated or misleading content, or information that is just plain wrong. Please read on with caution.

Anyone who knows basketball knows that Tim Hardaway is to the crossover dribble what Hakeem "The Dream" Olajuwon is to blocked shots. Given that I played the point guard position growing up, Tim Hardaway was an instrumental figure that I looked up to and respected.

Tonight I read that Tim Hardaway openly admitted that he hates gay people:

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.

He of course apologized shortly thereafter, but the cat is out of the bag. Tim Hardaway is entitled to his opinion, but all respect I had for him has been lost.

Ignorance better be bliss.

Comments

Ryan on February 15, 2007 at 9:34 AM:

Interesting juxtaposition of the last two posts.

This is why politicians apologize.

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Bernie Zimmermann on February 15, 2007 at 9:12 PM:

There's a difference (and a big one, I think) between apologizing for something that seems to be only offensive to the ultra-sensitive among us and apologizing for something that borders on (or that should, in my opinion, anyway) being an anachronism.

I wouldn't call Barack Obama ignorant based on his comments. I might call him human. On the other hand, I probably don't need to call Tim Hardaway ignorant because I'd imagine (and would hope) it's implied.

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Ryan on February 16, 2007 at 9:42 PM:

At least he's honest. In our society, his views may be frowned upon, but it is unlikely that he is lying. Is that better or worse than holding the view and not stating it? I don't know for sure.

I am impressed, however, by how quickly you dismiss someone based solely on one view. How is that fundamentally different than dismissing someone for their sexual orientation? Can deep feelings be ignored as easily as you want to believe?

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Bernie Zimmermann on February 17, 2007 at 10:14 AM:

So should I be thankful to the Ku Klux Klan, then, for being so up-front and honest about their views? I don't think so. They're a detriment to our society, and so are people like Tim Hardaway who have such unfounded hate toward (or fear of?) such a large part of our tangible modern culture.

There's also a big difference between dismissing someone and saying I hate them outright. I don't hate Tim Hardaway. I actually feel sorry for him, and everyone like him who has fallen so deep into his or her ignorance that he or she cannot see the bigger picture. Luckily for me, I don't have to respect him to feel sorry for him. So I don't.

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Ryan on February 17, 2007 at 11:59 AM:

I didn't mean to imply that you should be thankful to Tim Hardaway for stating his view. I was wondering aloud if its better for society to have the prejudiced state their prejudices or for them to keep it forever unsaid. For example, now you know (one of) Tim Hardaway's prejudices. That gives you and others a chance to bring up the your disagreement with his statements, to draw your line in the sand. Is this a net positive or negative for society? I don't know. Is it better to know the bigot or to have the bigot blend in? Do you have any thoughts on this?

Your KKK example, by the way, is fallacious. The KKK did a lot more than be upfront with an opinion. They assaulted and murdered people, which I don't think anyone is condoning here. I bet even Tim Hardaway would agree that the KKK is a detriment to society.

I guess what really gets to me about things like this is how those who cry for tolerance have so little to give when the tables are turned. Although a gay mayor reaching out to Tim Hardaway is a promising sign, I don't think many people, will ever give him a chance. That is how I interpret this post, at least.

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Bernie Zimmermann on February 17, 2007 at 1:06 PM:

Are you implying that gay-bashers and homophobes with similar sentiments to Tim Hardaway haven't taken things beyond just an opinion before? You may be right in that comparing Tim himself to the KKK is a bit off-base, but certainly not the group of ignorant people he represents with his comments.

I definitely see where you're coming from with the question about whether we're better off if people like Tim Hardaway disguise their true feelings or air them out for all to hear. After the whole Michael Richards thing went down, I remember saying to my fiancée that it may have actually done more good for our society than bad. I could see the issue with Tim Hardaway doing something similar on a grand scale. That being said, I think neither Michael Richards nor Tim Hardaway should be excused for what they said. Forgiven? Maybe.

If by tolerance you mean that society should be willing to give Tim another chance, I can't say I'd argue that point. If he can change (I'm not yet convinced), then it would obviously be a good thing to try and help happen. One less ignorant person, especially one less ignorant role model, can never be a bad thing.

That still doesn't change the fact, though, that I've lost all respect I had for Tim Hardaway. Hopefully he'll find a way to earn it back. But I won't hold my breath.

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