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Thursday, February 15, 2007

And he was a little overrated as a guard, too.

My prediction: Tim Hardaway is heading for "rehab."

"You know, I hate gay people, so I let it be known," Hardaway said. "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."

Hardaway was a guest of Miami Herald columnist Dan Le Batard on Miami sports radio station WAXY-AM and was asked how he would deal with a gay teammate. When asked if he would accept an active player's coming out, such as that of retired NBA center John Amaechi, Hardaway replied: "First of all, I wouldn't want him on my team.

"And second of all, if he was on my team, I would, you know, really distance myself from him because, uh, I don't think that's right. And you know I don't think he should be in the locker room while we're in the locker room. I wouldn't even be a part of that," he said.

Just lovely, all over. "I hate gay people." It's not all in the heads of homosexuals. There's plenty of raw hate out there, and this is just further proof.

This doesn't make Hardaway a monster, of course. By all accounts, he's an otherwise decent guy. But the fact that this can bubble up unprompted is grim.

And if the wrongness of hate for some reason isn't enough, consider the more crudely practical impact: it makes the fight that much harder for those who stand up for traditional sexual morality without an ounce of hate in their hearts.

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Be reasonably civil. Ire alloyed with reason is fine. But slagging the host gets you the banhammer.