Originally posted by Sven:
I guess Tim Hardaway seems to think that an athlete can't be a "real" athlete if the person is gay.
It's so sad that Amaechi felt like he couldn't come out while he was still a player. It's got to be gawd awful to be a pro athlete and gay, particuarly with arseholes like Hardaway around.
In men's team sports there have been five athletes come out after they retired. Having covered team sport from the trenches, I suspect that it would be very difficult to come out when playing--in some sports it would actually be dangerous.
I don't think it would be much different in female sport either. Stand on the sidelines of a competitive female sport and you will find that the most common insult thrown about is 'dyke.' You would also be shocked at how common that it is thrown around.
I heard the Hardaway interview on the Fan 590 (Toronto) yesterday. The morning show replayed it. One thing that pleasantly surprised me was that the sports jock immediately challenged him and didn't pull punches. "You do know that what you just said was homophobic, right?" is what he said, to which Hardaway replied "Well, I'm a Homophobic person."
Following the interview, the morning show host on The fan said that he would immediately "get angry" if someone said that in an interview he was conducting. The attitude Hardaway displayed is being challenged and consistently challenged.
And, although they may just be saying the "right thing" to stay out of trouble most of the NBA response has been like this from the Phoenix Suns James Jones:
I can't tell you how I would react,” Jones said. “I know it would be uncomfortable, it'd be difficult. But man, that's life. Life is about adapting and being tolerant.
I know that the above isn't a perfect answer, and one that may not satisfy some on here, but it is an honest answer that isn't hate-filled. It's an answer you probably would have got to the question 'What would you do if you found out that someone you work with is gay' in 1988. I think that's about how far pro sports is behind the rest of society in this regard.