Yes, that Tim Hardaway. The five-time NBA All-Star with the Warriors and Heat who infamously said in a Feb., 2007 interview with Dan LaBatard that he hated gay people.
“You know, I hate gay people, so I let it be known. I don’t like gay people and I don’t like to be around gay people. I am homophobic. I don’t like it. It shouldn’t be in the world or in the United States.”
And later that day, to ESPN’s Scoop Jackson, Hardaway clarified:
“I should have just said that I wouldn’t want to be on the same team with a gay person because I just don’t think it’s right for them to be on a team and the team not know that you are gay. … 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.”
But Hardaway represents one of the most dramatic transformations on the issue of gay rights in the history of sports. In Sept. of 2007 Hardaway said in an interview:
“I had no idea how much I hurt people. A lot of people.”
He began educating himself on gay rights and same-sex marriage issues, and when Jason Collins came out as gay earlier this year, Hardaway was among the first to call and offer his support.
Former NBA star Tim Hardaway tonight is scheduled to become the first petition-signer on the Equal Marriage Florida effort to put a proposed constitutional amendment legalizing same-sex marriage in the state on the November 2014 ballot.
Hardaway plans to be the symbolic first signer at 7 p.m. ET at Scully’s Tavern in Miami. They must gather 680,000 signatures from registered voters to get on the Nov. ballot.
Tim Hardaway, Sr., has shown capacity to change. He's admitted that he changed as a parent too — was too demanding of his son for a while.
— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) July 3, 2013
Florida banned same-sex marriage in 2008, but with the recent Supreme Court ruling labeling federal bans on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional and throwing the issue back to the states, Florida seeks to become one of those to revisit the issue.