Saturday, February 17, 2007

How Wrong is Tim Hardaway?

Tim Hardaway made some pretty caustic remarks recently about former NBA player John Amaeci being gay. They were hateful and inappropriate. Now he’s getting a lot of flack about it. Personally, I’m torn on this subject. First, I have no problems with homosexuals or lesbians. I live in super liberal San Francisco, where people walk around every day naked and drooling with tennis balls tapped up their butts while talking to dogs in three different languages, and no one in this town, including myself, really cares – as long as they don’t drool on me or ask me to play catch with the tennis ball. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not comparing those crazies to gay folks in any way. I’m just making a point. The gay people I know are compassionate, creative, wonderful individuals and human beings just like anyone else. Someone’s sexual preference has never been a concern of mine, so if someone is attracted to members of the same sex, more power to them. If they like livestock or hump ottomans, I could care less. To each his own has always been my belief. On the other hand, if Tim Hardaway doesn’t like gay people, why shouldn’t he have the right to express his opinions? Now the NBA has asked Hardaway not to attend their All-Star Weekend in Las Vegas because of his remarks. I understand embracing diversity in the workplace, but I feel like we’ve gone too far in trying to be completely accepting of everyone. Some groups just don’t like other groups, for whatever reason, and as long as they don’t threaten or harm each other, I believe they’re totally within their rights to express it. We supposedly live in a free-speech society. What if Hardaway had spoken out against the war in Iraq, Catholic priests, pay toilets or chronic jaywalkers? Would he have been banned for that? His opinion may be moronic and many of us may disagree, but why should he be punished and chastised by society just because he’s homophobic? People from the KKK and other racist, hateful organizations get up all the time and spout their propaganda in the media. If they’re protected by the Freedom of Speech, why isn’t Hardaway? Athletes say stupid stuff all the time (examples: Charles Barkley, Mike Tyson, Dennis Rodman), because they’re human and have a porous filter between their brains and their mouths, but why should they be penalized for it? I don’t think Hardaway is going to be invited to be the marshal of the Gay Day Parade, but even if he is an idiot and a homophobe, he doesn’t need to be banned for saying what he believes. Dumb-ass celebrities, redneck racists, and even ignorant politicians all have a place in American society. That’s the downside of living in a totally free country.

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