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| Culture |

Wait, Now Tim Hardaway Doesn't Hate Gay People?

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In February 2007, Tim Hardaway gave a textbook demonstration in career suicide live on Dan LeBatard's radio show with one of the most cringe-inducing bouts of homophobia an ex-athlete has ever managed. Let's recap:

"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."

The former Miami Heat superstar didn't exactly mince words, right?

But as fun as it is to read and reread that quote while imaging LeBatard's jaw slamming onto the radio room desk, some prominent members of Miami's gay media scene say it's time to file the quote under "massive mistake" and move on.

This weekend, Hardaway's personal foundation will sponsor a SoBe fundraiser for the Trevor Project, a suicide prevention hotline aimed at LGBT youth. Hardaway plans to show up and meet with Geo Bustamante, a local activist who wrote a widely circulated letter after Hardaway's outburst explaining how much it hurt young gays struggling with their identity.

David Wylie, the Trevor Project's local committee chairman, says he's convinced Hardaway's move is more than just savvy PR.

"I strongly believe he's sincere in this," Wylie tells Riptide. "His foundation approached us and just said, 'Hey, is there any way we can help?' He wasn't looking for PR."

Hardaway personally offered to pay for all the food at the event and to meet with Bustamante, Wylie said.

So what say you, Riptide nation? Has Hardaway sufficiently removed his homophobic foot from his mouth?

Regardless of his motives, it's tough to deny that the Trevor Project does important work. If you want to help, the fundraiser begins at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Halo Lounge in Miami Beach.

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