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I’m Sorry, Tim Hardaway

Like Tim, it's the harder way...I’ve spent about a week now talking about Tim Hardaway at the FanHouse, and on Deadspin. He said he hates guys who are down with the dong, and I really put a lot of time and effort into slamming him for it. I got carried away. If you missed any of it, here’s the “Tim Hardaway is an Asshole” anthology, in chronological order.

Tim Hardaway Did Not Spend Valentine’s Day With a Dude
Hardaway Apologizes; Amaechi Appreciates the Honesty
Tim Hardaway Loves to Stay at the YMCA
Tim Hardaway Has Been To a Gay Bar
The Maloof Brothers Wouldn’t Employ a Homophobe
Because This Had To End With Tim Hardaway Being Nude On YouTube
Tim Hardaway’s Gay-Friendly Car Wash

And then I read the second leg of his apology, and I started to feel a little bit bad about it. His second stab at saying he was sorry was much better, and seemed much more sincere. And after a weekend of hearing Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith say Hardaway’s a good guy (though, clearly, Kenny has much left to understand about the gay issue), I should give him another chance. It is possible for someone to say they hate gay people, and still, deep down, be a good guy.

Here was Timmy’s second apology:

“I don’t hate gay people,” Hardaway said. “I’m a goodhearted person. I interact with people all the time. … I respect people. For me to say ‘hate’ was a bad word, and I didn’t mean to use it.”

I buy that. And that should have been the first thing I thought, “Tim Hardaway doesn’t really hate gay people, he just got a little carried away when trying to express that he’s uncomfortable around gay people (which, you know, isn’t good, either… but doesn’t make him a terrible person).” But that wasn’t my reaction, my reaction was, “Let’s go write about what an asshole this guy is.”

I shouldn’t have done that. At least, I probably shouldn’t have done so much of it. Sorry, Tim.

Tim Hardaway is homophobic, Tim Hardaway is ignorant, and Reggie Miller was right when he suggested that Tim Hardaway probably needs some therapy. But I don’t believe he’s got a hateful heart … I don’t think Tim Hardaway sits at home and thinks, “These damn gay people are ruining the world, and I’m going to get them.” I think he’s just never been exposed to a lot of homosexuals, he’s confused and threatened by it, and he threw the word “hate” out there because he didn’t know how else to say it.

I think the NBA is justified in cutting him loose from NBA Cares, I think BaldGuyz is perfectly justified in firing him as an endorser, and I do still believe that Tim Hardaway, at his Grand Luxe Auto Hand Car Wash & Detailing Center should provide every gay customer with a free hand job.

Matthew J. Darnell

8 Comments

  1. I still think that Hardaway is sorry, not so much for what he said, but for the firestorm it caused. Despite the apology, you are correct to say that Hardaway is very likely still homophobic and ignorant. It is also very likely that he believes that he is justified in these thoughts.

    What he probably regrets, then, is verbalizing these thoughts. Not to say that’s wrong. He should be sorry for opening his mouth. Particularly with reporters and bloggers alike foaming at the mouth to get a hateful snippet out of someone about the Amaechi story, Hardaway should have ran like hell from the first media representative that he saw. More than anything else, he’s likely very sorry that he didn’t.

    But that’s probably it.

  2. Wow, the comments that AOL draws are mindblowing. Some people agree with Tim, others think this would be a good excuse to call off this failed emancipation experiment, and I don’t think either side would recognize the irony if they saw it naked in the shower.

  3. Oh, and I don’t think you were too hard on Hardaway at all. The man said he hates gays, and I think we should take him at his word. Accepting his (and his friends) after-the-fact exhortations about his essential goodness seems a bit naive.

    People do hate other people for no good reason, and those haters have friends that will swear up and down that deep down they’re nice guys.

  4. http://www.snpp.com/episodes/2F03.html

    “Now, in case all that mjd-enforced therapy didn’t cheer you up Timmy, there’s one thing that never fails: a nice glass of warm milk, a little nap — and a total frontal lobotomy.”

    If he ain’t thinking right, then by God MAKE him think right.

  5. Yeah, Matt’s right about AOL. I know it’s more exposure, and that’s good for you MJD, but the Grade A neanderthals/racists/homophobes you have to put up with in the comments over there really make you earn your money. I know I wouldn’t handle even a handful of the vile things they spew out. I’ve had to quit reading the comments.

    In all honesty, Tim probably doesn’t “hate” gay people as much as he is uncomfortable with them. Although his “they don’t belong in the world or the United States” comment does invokes images of the Matthew Sheppard treatment. Tim is probably just guilty of an incredibly poor choice of words.

  6. jumping on the bandwagon with Matt and BouJ

    The most interesting thing about the Hardaway mess is that it’s given many more people the opportunity to expose their own ignorance.

    That, and it’s rare to see a guy so completely destroy his career and reputation live on camera (or radio).

    I’d call it a Tysonioan fall from grace, but I’m not sure if Hardaway was up on any pedestals anymore anyway.

  7. John Amaechi should offer to pay off Tim Hardaway’s debt in exchange for one Forced Sodomy session televised on Fox News or something.

    I bet Timmyyyy(!) would really hate gays if he had his Ass Cherry brutally taken by a 7 foot black gay fully intent on ripping open the rectum of a noted gaybasher.

    Follow-up news reports will show Amaechi to be unrepentant. “Rectum? I almost killed him!”

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