Jul 29, 2013, 10:07 PM EST
Tim Hardaway played 14 NBA seasons, most notably as a part of the Run TMC Golden State Warriors. But he was also a key component of the Miami Heat teams that challenged in the Eastern Conference in the late 90s.
He found himself in the spotlight once his career was through for making some horribly ignorant anti-gay remarks back in 2007, but has since learned why what he said was wrong, and has been working towards educating others on the topic ever since.
Hardaway now regrets ever making those comments. But he does believe that the dialogue that resulted was ultimately positive in helping those similarly dense gain a new perspective on things.
Over the past several years, Hardaway has provided support at several gay events. When Jason Collins earlier this year became the first active NBA player to reveal he is gay, Hardaway called Collins the day the news broke to offer his support. Hardaway earlier this month was the first signer of a petition seeking the legalization of gay marriage in Florida.
As much Hardaway regrets the comments, he said they at least resulted in dialogue he believes ultimately advanced society.
“What I said and how I said it, it was bad,” Hardaway said. “But I think it opened up a lot of eyes and made people really, really understand that these are people and that we shouldn’t bash them or throw rocks at them or anything like that. I think that opened up a lot of eyes, opened up a lot of dialogue to which people didn’t even want to touch (before). Now, I think they will touch it. I’m not saying that it’s a good thing (the comments were made), but, if I didn’t say that, I think we still would be further back.”
That’s debatable, obviously. But what’s important is how Hardaway was able to completely change his views on the subject after coming from such a dark place on it initially.
Nowadays, Hardaway is employed by the Miami Heat as a team scout. And when he’s not talking up the potential of Greg Oden and his ability to lead the Heat to a third straight title, he’s trying to work his way up in the organization, while setting his sights on obtaining a general manager position at some point in the future.
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