Press

Task Force criticizes homophobic remarks by former NBA player, calls for an end to pervasive homophobia in NBA

Date: 
February 15, 2007

MEDIA CONTACT:
Roberta Sklar, Director of Communications
media@theTaskForce.org
646.358.1465

“There’s a reason why not a single active NBA player has ever come out in the history of the league, and this is it.” 
— Matt Foreman, Executive Director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

WASHINGTON, Feb. 15 —  Retired Miami Heat guard Tim Hardaway said Wednesday that he hates gay people. “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,” he said on a radio show. “I’m homophobic. I don’t like it. It shouldn’t be in the world or in the United States.” The discussion was prompted by the recent announcement that retired Utah Jazz center John Amaechi is gay.

Statement by Matt Foreman, Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

“Tim Hardaway is a hero to thousands of young people, particularly in Miami-Dade, and that’s what makes his comments so troubling. Sadly, his words simply put the pervasive homophobia in the NBA on the table. There’s a reason why not a single active NBA player has ever come out in the history of the league, and this is it. We don’t need punitive words or hollow apologies. We need the NBA and the Miami Heat to embrace gay fans and players in visible ways throughout the year.”

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The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and by building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.