Tim Hardaway was a great NBA player and his son just got drafted a couple weeks ago. He also used to be homophobic and famously responded to former NBA player John Amaechi coming out by saying he hates gay people and doesn’t want them around him. Now he’s helping lead the fight for equal rights.
A former NBA star who once declared “I hate gay people” became the first person to sign a new petition seeking to legalize gay marriage in Florida.
Tim Hardaway signed the first petition Wednesday night for Equal Marriage Florida, a fresh effort to repeal a 2008 state amendment banning same-sex unions. He added his name while leaning over a pool table in a public ceremony at Sully’s Tavern in Miami alonside Equal Marriage Florida organizer Vanessa Brito.
“If you’re married you’re married -– you should see your significant other in the hospital, make choices for your significant other if you need to make those choices,” Hardaway said at the signing, according to NBC6…
Admitting he “had no idea how much I hurt people” and pledging to “do whatever I can to correct it,” Hardaway shortly took classes at a Miami-area LGBT youth suicide prevention organization, raised money for a nationwide suicide hotline for young gay people, and in 2011 in El Paso fought a recall of three local politicians who voted to restore health benefits for gay city employees.
“I opened my eyes and went to counseling,” he told the El Paso Times.
I think he’s being genuine here because he hasn’t just talked the talk, he’s walked the walk. He’s used his celebrity to call attention to more than one instance of discrimination and to call for change. And kudos to him. People really do change sometimes and we need to support and praise them when it happens. Bravo, Mr. Hardaway.