Tim Hardaway is talking again, this time to another complete dunderhead, Scoop Jackson. When I saw the headline about how these two are boys and go way back, I could immediately envision the disaster that could happen. Here's Timmy Hardaway trying desperately to salvage a fragment of his image and he's using the conduit of a complete idiot in Scoop Jackson. Someone who Jason Whitlock and other respected black writers think is a complete tool. Another sound decision, Tim.
And the interview is too good to be true. Tim Hardaway should simply have apologized and disappeared for a while. Or made out with John Amechi. But no, Tim's going to try to explain himself in the interview. Read it for the can't-look-away, car accident nature of it.
"And that's what it was, a hate crime on my part. But I was never brought up to hate anybody, you know that. But that's just the word and that's how we used it. You know when we got a whopping we'd be like, "I hate my moms" or "I hate my dad," and at the time you really didn't hate them, but that was the word you used. You know I can go into a restaurant and say, "I hate this food, I hate the chef, I don't even know why I came back to this restaurant." But I know I can't use the word like that, or let's say I'm not supposed to. People have come up to me and told me, "Tim, you can't say that you hate gay people because it's not the same term." But that's how I talk. That's the way I am."
Yes, Tim, you can't say "hate" because it can mean different things and thus be seen as a "hate" crime. I know this is flabbergasting to you. But that's because you're a "douchebag," but I mean douchebag in the playful sense, not the real mean sense. You know?
"When I listened to the interview it really sounded like I meant what I said, like I meant that I hate gay people. I was thinking that I was talking to somebody else and not really knowing what it was I was saying. Did I forget I was on the radio? To tell you the truth, at the time I was talking, yes. I've known Dan for a long time and we're real cool and we were just having fun on the radio."
Oh, gotcha. So it's okay if you say it in private to someone? Glad you're clearing things up, Tim. Closeted homophobia and hatred is much more acceptable.
"I still don't accept their lifestyle... You know, we were brought up to not even condone or associate yourself with a gay person. If you knew of a gay person, disassociate yourself with them. I just get away from it. I just walk away. I see it, I just go the other way, cross the street."
Yes, clearly you were misinterpreted, Tim. It's very obvious that we all got you wrong. You're not a homophobe or a hatemonger at all. Let me ask you this, though: what if we simply replaced "gay" with "black" in that sentence? Just sayin', just keepin' it real, dog.
"When we was growing up Scoop, if we saw gay people or whatever, we ran across the street. We got away from them. Our parents, our friends, our families knew that that wasn't right. We didn't want to be around that and they definitely didn't want us kids around it. And it's not that they hated gay people, they just felt they it wasn't right. Let them do what they want to do. And that was my experience when I was growing up. Not acknowledging them. Now did something happen to me? No. But I did have a friend that something happened to him in a Catholic school, but that is another can of worms that it's not my place to open because it's not my life. But to answer your question, "No." Nothing happened to me. I just don't condone [being gay]. When I see gay people holding hands or kissing in the streets, I just don't think that's right."
No, we don't hate them. We just don't think it's right and we run across the street. And then Tim goes into the classic, "I have a friend who had something happen to him..." routine. Yeah, Tim, I feel ya. I was half-waiting for his last line here to continue with "...and I throw rocks at them."
"If a guy, like they say, is in the closet and decides to come out of the closet years down the line, you feel that your friendship, him being a teammate, being a part of a team, which in a lot of ways is like being part of a family or fraternity, has been betrayed. You feel like you've been double-crossed. We were in battles together, we were in the trenches together, how could you not tell me?"
Because you're clearly not ready.
"I have a friend who was on a team with a gay person and that person was his roommate and his teammate came out of the closet after they had been roommates. And my friend told me that he's the one who felt violated.
Interesting choice of words.
"He told me that he hates him now. He said if the dude had come to him before and told him this, maybe it could have been worked out, easier to accept. It's a trust issue."
Speaking of trust issues, how is a gay person supposed to trust that you're not going to go nuclear on him if he comes out ahead of time when this is the reaction you give when simply asked about the issue of homosexuality? He told you he hates him now? Didn't we already talk about that word, Timmy?
They were on the same team and roommates for four years and then two or three years after he left he came out and said, 'Hey, I'm gay. I'm bisexual.' I don't know how to even deal with that."
That's just it, Tim. You don't know how to deal with it so you act like a bigot. Nicely done.
When asked what he has to learn about gay people: "Right now, learning. Learning that gay people are really no different than a lot of other people. Learning that they work hard, they do things in the community, they are responsible for building parks, rec centers, providing safe environments for kids, just things I had never associated with them before. [This last week] has opened up my eyes to the gay population and what they do. I'm getting a lot of knowledge about them that I didn't have. Which is going to make me a better person. And if it doesn't, then I'm a damn fool."
That's going to be hard when you're running to the other side of the street, Tim. Maybe you can admire their parks and rec centers from the opposite sidewalk.
Then he is asked if he's going to accept the lifestyle and he gives this nugget: "No. I'm opening myself up to get a better understanding of who they are, but I still don't condone what they do. I don't want to be a part of it and I still don't want to be around it."
Do you suppose Tim is just stupid enough that he thinks that accepting a lifestyle means that he is part of that lifestyle? Timmy, you don't have to hate gay people to prove that you're not gay.
Let me just say for the record that I'm not a fan of gayness myself. However, I don't feel the need to publicly gay-bash to ensure that I'm hetero. I understand Tim's point that he doesn't like the lifestyle -- I guess I don't, either. But you can't be hateful simply because they're different from you, no matter how much you disagree with their way of life. Isn't this a basic tenet of being an American?