Thursday, February 15, 2007

Sexuality and Basketball

I've said it before, but I don't really care for basketball. I respect what the players do - I'm just never interested.

Still, in the wake of John Amaechi's coming out, Tim Hardaway's comments on Don Amaechi's coming out are worth airing out. After saying he "hate[s]" gay people and that not only would he not want one on his team, he would refuse to be around the guy, Hardaway quasi-retracted, saying he "regretted the remarks". Unfortunately, he only regrets the remarks, not the feelings. When people say stories like Amaechi's are good for sports, and how it's a shame more people don't come out about who they are, they probably aren't considering how a gay teammate may feel around people with attitudes like Tim Hardaway. The sports-player community still has a long way to go before attitudes like Hardaway's disappear (if they ever truly can or will disappear). For every Ostertag or Kirilenko that Amaechi praises, there will be a Hardaway to contend with for anybody thinking about being open with their sexuality.

Fortunately, Amaechi's taking it in stride, pointing out how it is stupid and shallow and and even bigoted (a lesson to Bill Donohue: Criticism isn't hate speech; when you say you actively hate a type of people based on race, religion, sexuality, etc., that is hate speech).