Former NBA guard Tim Hardaway's inflammatory comments about gays turned him into a pariah at the All-Star Weekend in Las Vegas. First, the league swiftly defused the explosive situation by "uninviting" Hardaway from numerous weekend appearances. Players took notice and no one is helping Hardaway out of the hole that he so infamously dug for himself—especially his former Miami Heat teammates who were represented in the game.
Shaquille O'Neal and Dwyane Wade, seen together here, both offered progressive, tolerant views on the questions of gays in sports. "I was always taught as a youngster to never judge people," O'Neal said. "So I never judge people, and to each their own. If he was my teammate, and people ridiculed him and jumped on him, I would probably have to protect him."
Rod 2.0 fave Dwyane Wade said a teammate's sexual orientation would not be the most important factor in their personal relationship. "Anybody who knows me knows I'm a guy who loves his teammates," D-Wade said. "And if anything ever comes up like that, I don't look at that. I look at what guys can do for you on the court. And in the locker room you have great relationships with guys. I don't have any negative views."
Heat forward Jason Kapono said Hardaway represented a minority viewpoint. "Everyone has their own views on life, and that's something that's obviously his point of view, but that's definitely not the point of view of all the rest of us."
Speaking on TNT, NBA legend Charles Barkley—who previously has supported gay athletes and same-sex marriage—rebuked Hardaway's hateful rampage: "I played with gay guys. I got gay friends. Only God can judge other people. I don't care if a person is gay or not. Any jock who thinks he's never played with a gay guy is sadly mistaken."
More reaction to Hardway's anti-gay rant from powerful team owners. Gavin Maloof, whose family owns the Sacramento Kings, announced he wouldn’t allow a player on his team who shared Hardaway’s views. “What he said was wrong,” Maloof stated. “I’m sure he’s apologized, but the damage has been done and he never should have said it.”
Finally, you knew this story had to end with nude photos of Tim Hardaway. Over the weekend, after his name was forcibly removed from the car wash he co-owns in south Florida, Hardaway was flamed and taunted on several websites , which published YouTube footage of a naked Hardaway in the locker room. Our verdict: He's okay, but certainly no Dwyane Wade, in "many" more ways than one.
Heat Stars Express Tolerance (Sun Setinel)
Las Vegas welcomes All-Stars (Journal Gazette)
Charles Barkley Responds To Hardaway (Keith Boykin)
Some Background ....NBA Reprimands Hardaway (Rod 2.0) No Coming Out Party for Amaechi (Rod 2.0) News: Will Demps on Gays (Rod 2.0) Charles Barkley on Gay Marriage (Rod 2.0) Dwyane Wade in GQ (Rod 2.0) NBA Finals: Game Two (Rod 2.0) NBA Finals: Game One (Rod 2.0) December Clikque (Rod 2.0) On the "Outside Looking In" (Rod 2.0) Out of Bounds (Rod 2.0) Rio Ferdinand Apologizes After "Faggot" Remark (Rod 2.0)