"SORRY TO ANYONE I HAVE OFFENDED"

My Dad can vouch that I don’t know much about professional sports. But I doubt I’m the only one scratching my head at what’s supposed to be meant by Tim Hardaway’s apology for his assertions that

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?

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2 thoughts on “"SORRY TO ANYONE I HAVE OFFENDED"

  1. Josh,

    One thing that often bothers me when people make statements akin to Hardway’s is the apology that follows. The harsh and venomous words Hardaway spoke clearly come from deep withing him, and a sincere aplogy for his beliefs cannot be considered credible so soon after the initial diatribe. Therefore, I think they type of apology Hardaway gave is the only one that carries and crediblity. (Even if we are still skeptical of his honesty) Certianly, you and I understand the problems with the beliefs themselves, yet much harm can be caused from verbalizing such idealogy. Therefore, Hardaway is right to apologize for harm he caused by speaking his mind, even if continues to maintain the same worldview that he originally espoused.

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