I hate gay people. 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 sports.
After being clued in to the potential negative consequences of open bigotry for his endorsement deals, Hardaway said Thursday that
As an African-American, I know all too well the negative thoughts and feelings hatred and bigotry cause. I regret and apologize for the statements that I made that have certainly caused the same kinds of feelings and reactions. I especially apologize to my fans, friends and family in Miami and Chicago. I am committed to examining my feelings and will recognize, appreciate and respect the differences among people in our society. I regret any embarrassment I have caused the league on the eve of one of their greatest annual events.
Hardaway seems to be conveniently obliterating the distinction between feelings and beliefs. Nice to know he’s examining his feelings, but what of his belief that gay people have no place in professional sports or in the world? He doesn’t want to cause people negative feelings. He wishes he hadn’t voiced views that could inspire negative feelings. He plans to “appreciate…differences among people in our society.” Does that mean that gay people have a place in society, where he just said they didn’t? What about the locker room, where he said he doesn’t “think [Amaechi] should be”?
If he’s actually recanting – and not just regretting – his pronouncement that “I am homophobic,” why not say it? And if – setting his feelings aside – his beliefs about gay people stand and he’s just “sorry to anyone I have offended”, why bother with a weasely apology at all?
I don’t know a thing about sports journalism, but it would seem to me the obvious follow-up question should be: Is there a place for gay people in the world? In the locker room?