For those who don't visit the sports pages every waking moment (like myself), here a brief recap. John Amaechi, a retired NBA player, has written a book and decided now is the time for him to come out of the closet and announce to the world that he is a homosexual. ESPN and every sports reporter has decided that this topic will now be included in every player/coach interview with the specific question: "How would you react to having an openly gay player on your team?"
A majority of the active players have given the standard politically correct answer and one radio disc jockey got lucky enough to have retired loudmouth Tim Hardaway step up to the plate and issue a whopper of a sound bite in the name of defending Christian morals.
Tim Hardaway - NBA Ambassador to Sexual Preference Relations
Quote #1 - "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 is right. I don't think he should be in the locker room while we are in the locker room."
Quote #2 - "You know, I hate gay people, so I let it be known. I don't like gay people and I don't like to be around gay people. I'm homophobic. I don't like it. It shouldn't be in the world or in the United States."
And apparently Tim Hardaway already has the anti-gay club started. The Philadelphia 76ers' Shav Randolph said he could tolerate a homosexual teammate as long as he didn't bring that "gayness on me." Other things have been said but those were the most ridiculous of the bunch.
I know it may seem weird for the conservative Mormon guy to be sticking up for the rights of gays but hear me out. I understand that that Christian morality dictates homosexuality as a sin but it also deems adultery and fornication as grievous sins as well. Why isn't Tim Hardaway spouting off about how the NBA players need to stop cheating on their spouses or get rid of their city by city groupies. Remember the quote attributed to the great pacifist Mahatma Gandhi, "Hate the sin, love the sinner."
I have long since stopped caring about the personal lives of professional athletes. I don't revere these athletes as people but I thoroughly admire their skills and talents as competitive professionals almost to the point of envy. However, I would cease being a sports fan if I had to link the two together. As a fan I would be disappointed too often.
That being said, do I care if John Amaechi is gay? Absolutely not. I am more impressed with the fact that an average to mediocre player has found such an opportunistic time to announce his homosexuality and will transform it into a best-selling autobiography. John Amaechi has had more clips on ESPN Sportscenter this last week than in his whole career combined.
Bottom line - if you want to be against gays in the NBA...pick a reason other than immorality. If we are going to create a morality clause in the NBA union then get ready for a bunch of scrubs to take over the league because AC Green is already retired and I think the only other squeaky clean guys are Shane Battier, Shawn Bradley and Mark Madsen... and that doesn't sound like too much fun.