The Chicago Bulls' Joakim Noah's "fuck you, faggot" outburst during the Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat was one thing (certainly an inexcusable thing, but not something that necessarily makes him a raging homophobe). Tim Hardaway's 2007 outburst in which he stated, "I hate gay people... I am homophobic," was on a whole other level and actually did make him a raging homophobe. However, Heat-alum Hardaway says he thinks Noah handled the situation in the correct way.
Hardaway, who was one of the Heat's first true stars and still works for the franchise today, went on a homophobic tirade on a radio show in 2007 after former NBA player John Amaechi came out as gay.
"You know, I hate gay people, so I let it be known," he 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 issued an apology later that day and has since worked with GLBT groups such as the Trevor Project, a suicide prevention initiative aimed at gay youth, to educate himself on queer issues.
Of course, Noah's outburst brought Hardaway's comments back into the spotlight, and Hardaway addressed the issues again on an ESPN radio show.
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"He took the onus and went ahead and corrected the whole situation, like I did," Hardaway said Wednesday on The Waddle & Silvy Show on ESPN 1000. "That's all you can do is correct the situation.
"You're not trying to hurt anybody. You're not trying to offend anyone. You just have to take the right approach and hold your own self accountable for it and make everything right. That's all you can do."
"It hurt [my reputation] tremendously," he said. "I'm still trying to rectify it. People ask me about it, and I tell them, 'That's in the past. I'm moving forward.'
"I still learn from it, and it's still a bump in the road for me. But you have to still move forward, still have to keep going, and that's the way it is. I'm not trying to shy away from it. I'm not trying to say I didn't do it. I'm rectifying it. I understand what I said and how I said it, which was wrong. And I'm just trying to move on from it."