USA, Florida: Formerly Anti-Gay NBA Player Joins Push for Marriage Equality

Written by scott on July 4th, 2013

FloridaA formerly anti-gay Miami Heat player has signed the petition to overturn Florida’s gay marriage ban. USA Today reports:

A group called Equal Marriage Florida is launching a petition to get same-sex marriage constitutionally recognized by the state of Florida in 2014. The petition needs at least 680,000 signatures for the measure to make the ballot. And the group has already lined up a high-profile first signer: former Miami Heat star Tim Hardaway. This is a big deal for one reason: Hardaway used to be one of the most vocally homophobic professional athletes in the country. “I hate gay people, so let it be known,” Hardaway said in a radio interview in 2007. “I don’t like gay people and I don’t like to be around gay people. I am homophobic. It should not be in the world or in the United States.”

Kudos to Hardaway for executing a 180 on the issue.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Florida.


80 Comments so far ↓

  1. jrock says:

    sooo..hes a hypocrite… why would gay people wont him on there side..i sure wouldn’t

  2. Ashleigh says:

    I’m so proud to hear that he turned around on this issue. It was always heartbreaking to see such a talented player have such useless hate in their everyday lives, so this is an awesome occurence.

  3. dan says:

    Changing your mind about something doesn’t make you a hypocrite. Given the severity of his previous statements I do hold a bit of skepticism as to how tolerant he’s actually become, but if he’s actually decided to be “on my side”, I welcome that. Otherwise what’s the point of calling for tolerance?

  4. 2jrock says:

    So you’re saying that people cannot have a change of heart? Especially when it’s for the better? Glad the majority of the people don’t see things like you or it would be even harder for change to occur.

  5. Tyenkrovy says:

    @jrock: Hypocrisy is the state of pretending to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that one does not actually have. If Hardaway still felt the same way he did before, but presented himself as being entirely pro-gay, then he’d be a hypocrite. The story here seems to imply he’s had a change of heart for the better. If that’s your definition of “hypocrisy”, then I suggest you buy a dictionary.

  6. Joe says:

    @Jrock – Or maybe he actually saw the error of his ways. People can change their opinion on issues over time.

  7. Carl Rodakowski says:

    Perhaps he’s a hypocrite or perhaps his view of the world was expanded. I would hope that his change of views catches on – that others realize hate is hate no matter what you call it at first.

  8. Axel says:

    @Jrock Maybe because it shows people can change, and that if someone who said those things can change their mind so completely that there is hope for others too? He should be congratulated for coming to his senses, not admonished for changing his mind on a opinion that was stupid and flawed to begin with.

  9. erock says:

    Its not hypocritical to change your mind, stupid.

  10. Well, it doesn’t mean he’s a hypocrite. It could simply be that he has changed his mind (for the better). A lot of people are afraid of or against what they do not understand. Perhaps, after the backlash due to his previous comments, he learned that people of a different persuasion do not threathen his own life choices – and that differences in sexual orientation are not an affront to him or anyone else. Hey – maybe he just grew up, got wiser, and is now proud to make that known. Good for him!

  11. ash says:

    It’s a high profile case where a person was able to get past their own fears and prejudice to see, regardless of upbringing or creed, a free country that limits people based on something as intimate as sexuality isn’t very free. We still have to rely on a lot more Americans coming around to that idea in order to enact greater and greater changes. This is a great example for people on both sides to pull from.

  12. Tek says:

    Personal growth doesn’t make someone a hypocrite, and no one should be insulted for becoming a better human being and acting on it. A large portion of the country is having a change of heart when it comes to gay people and their civil rights–a big part of what all civil rights movements hope to achieve in the future after legislation.

  13. hibut says:

    he is not a hypocrite, he is a person who has seen the error of his ways, and has changed his behaviour as a result. a hypocrite is someone whose actions contradict their preaching.

  14. JP says:

    He’s not a hypocrite. It would be hypocritical if he said those things and then turned out to be gay. He’s a person who has realized the error of his ways and is trying to correct the harm he has done in the past and I applaud him for it.

  15. John says:

    It not hypocrisy dim wit it’s a change of mind, evolution…

  16. parables says:

    A “hypocrite” is someone who believes one thing while simultaneously professing another. When someone believes one thing at one time and later believes something else, we call that “growth.”

  17. krick says:

    It’s not hypocritical. It’s called a change of opinion by education. If every person was a hypocrite for hating something and then learning to like it (or accept it) then the world would be nothing but hypocrites. Isn’t the ultimate goal to change the perspectives of the world towards homosexuality? In that case ever person should be welcome to embrace that cause.

  18. Chris says:

    jrock, he’s not a hypocrite. He changed his mind. I think that’s commendable.

  19. pogogogo says:

    no jrock

    a hypocrite is someone who says “guns are evil and bad and no one should have them” but owns a gun and has a conceal carry permit.

    people are allowed to change their minds about an issue. That’s not hypocritical. That’s called personal and spiritual growth, or maturity.

  20. Sarah Lockley says:

    This petition should come to me in Port Salerno, FL! I’d sign & I have more than 10 friends (1 who is gay) that would sign it too! Florida is the best place to see natural rainbows, why not rainbow flags? (:-} Everyone deserves love!

  21. mike civita says:

    No, he’s not a hypocrite, he is an intelligent, THINKING person who’s capable of thought and growth. That’s probably because he doesn’t get his opinions from TV, or some fire and brimstone preacher.

  22. SunsSuns says:

    Hypocrite, maybe. But I believe people could change, I believe that if a person is honest in their conviction, they are also open to hear the other side. He may have had quite a few or just one really profound transforming experience that led him to make a 180. I commend him for being so publicly vocal about his change of heart.

  23. hunbdgr says:

    jrock, by that logic, no one can change their mind on any issue? Furthermore, you’re misusing the term hypocrite. It would be hypocritical if he spoke out publicly against homosexuality while privately engaging in homosexual behavior. That is clearly not the case here.

  24. Susan Anderson says:

    The ability of a person to listen, learn and see a different perspective does not make him a ‘hypocrite’ – it makes him enlightened. Thank you, Tim Hardaway, for not remaining a narrow-minded, biased individual!

  25. Nicole says:

    Yes jrock, because obviously if someone changes their mind about an issue and decides that they were wrong before it just means they’re a hypocrite. People can’t possibly change their minds and their opinions and grow as human beings. That’s just impossible.

  26. feistybadger says:

    Changing one’s mind based on reasonable evidence is most certainly NOT being a hypocrite. A hypocrite is saying one thing while doing another, or espousing two opposing viewpoints at the same time.

  27. Thornraven says:

    Growing and maturing does not equate to hypocrisy.

  28. eye says:

    It is possible for people to go from being closed minded and/or judgmental about someone or something to truly changing their stance. If he can now be open minded about something he previously felt differently about, why can’t you be open minded to his changed ways?

  29. tim says:

    jrock, but where do you place the line between “hypocrite” and “changing your mind due to personal improvement”?

    i think the point is, someone was more of an oppressive prick, and now they’re less of one. that’s a good thing 🙂

  30. Math says:

    growing as a person does not make you a hypocrite. you should never hold any belief so highly that you’re not willing to reconsider it at some point in your life.

  31. Gene says:

    Come on Jrock, people change. If this is true, then it’s great and he’s learned acceptance 🙂

  32. Larry says:

    There’s a difference between being a hypocrite and changing your mind.
    Just like there’s a difference between “Flip-flopping” and taking in the evidence and changing your stance.

  33. Alison Cowan says:

    He is NOT a hypocrite – you clearly don’t know the meaning of the word. A hypocrite is someone who claims to believe one thing but who’s actions prove otherwise. Evangelical pseudo-Christians, for example, who claim to follow Jesus (Who’s ONE commandment was “love one another as I have loved you) but who act with hate and spite towards anyone they choose to target – including one another.

    What Hardaway did was _change_his_mind – which is what honest people do when they figure out they were wrong.

  34. Tanith says:

    Changing your mind for the better, does not make you a hypocrite. Saying he hates gay people while being one would make him a hypocrite. Unless this is a ploy for media attention, he has let go of a crippling fear and is moving toward acceptance of human beings as a whole. Acceptance and equal treatment of fellow human beings is one of the major traits I look for in those I would have at my side. Does this mean I suddenly like or care for Tim Hardaway? No. But, I respect his decision to take a step toward being a better human being.

  35. mrichards says:

    jrock why does that make him a hypocrite? Maybe he changed his mind. Haven’t you ever changed your mind about something?

  36. Tallwoman17 says:

    No, he is not a hypocrite. He would only be so if he continued to hate while espousing a viewpoint opposite that. People can and do change. A hypocrite would not have even signed the petition. Mr. Hardaway obviously had a change of heart that could have come from anywhere…a friend or colleague could have come out, forcing him to take another look at his views. If we don’t allow for the fact that some people can change..even if their views are extreme and ignorant, then the world is doomed. I pity you for the fact that you cannot accept that. But I’m quite sure that there are many in the gay and straight community that welcome Mr. Hardaway’s signature with forgiving and grateful hearts.

  37. Josh says:

    Keep in mind that was 6 years ago. During that time it seems he may have become more open minded.

  38. Kristen in WA says:

    Nice….Education and exposure to real people who just happen to be homosexual is the best “cure” for homophobia! The intimate lives of couples are not anyone’s business but that couple.

  39. Jim says:

    I like to think that he changed and I think that is a good thing.

  40. N. says:

    Doesn’t mean he’s a hypcrite, he maybe didn’t have knowledge about homosexuals he was just doing what many people do, following the mainstream. But later on he got to know about homosexuality and he got his eyes opened.

  41. Gaidig says:

    So, jrock, apparently people are never allowed to see the error of their ways and change their beliefs? If that’s the case, nothing will ever change or improve anywhere on the globe.

  42. Cate says:

    There is a difference between growth and hypocrisy. Kudos to him for his ability to have an open mind and heart. And you know what they say…you’ll never have a stronger ally than a convert.

  43. Ryan says:


    By the way that you write, you appear to be a complete moron, so please be aware that no one gives zero fucks about what you think. Learn to write, and maybe (maybe) your opinion might mater to someone. (I doubt it.)

  44. slcfoxy says:

    jrock: “Give me your tired, your poor/Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free”

    We will welcome anyone to the cause, with open arms. The true hypocrites would be the LGBT community if we didn’t welcome Hardaway’s support. If he supports freedom for all, then he is good company!


  45. JDG says:

    The ability to change ones view shows education and adaptation, not hypocrisy.

  46. TR says:

    sooo..does changing your mind make you a hypocrite? Some people who signed the Declaration of Independence were once opposed to it. Personally, I am glad Tim Hardaway changed his mind.

  47. Sean says:

    If changing your mind on a matter made you a hypocrite, then everyone on the planet is a hypocrite.

  48. Duhdude says:

    If you say one thing, and the next moment say the opposite (or if suddenly it serves you to do so) it’s hypocrisy. Otherwise it’s this thing called learning. In Kidergarten you thought 4+3 equaled 8, but a few years later you knew it was 7. Didn’t make you a hypocrite.

  49. Colleen says:

    It’s not hypocritical to change your mind. Good for you Tim Hardaway for overcoming your prejudices! People are people…

  50. Cerxi says:

    I don’t know, let’s ask George Takei.

  51. James says:

    People are allowed to change. People are allowed to grow.

    PS Hypocrisy would be if Hardaway said all that Gay-bashing stuff whilst cruising for Rentboys on the downlow.

  52. Jack says:

    People are allowed to change their minds.

  53. X-Lydia says:

    So, jrock, anyone who changes their mind is a hypocrite even if they now agree with you? What a no-win scenario!

  54. Jay says:

    having a change of heart does not make one a hypocrite. Saying he hates gays,while being secretly gay himself, would make him a hypocrite.

  55. clif says:

    Please look up the word hypocrite, it does not mean what you think it does. Also look up how to spell want, and the difference between there and their.
    I for one am glad you’re not on the same side as me. Your ignorance exudes from your pores, and it’s wonderful to not be associated with you.

  56. Sean says:

    jrock says “sooo..hes a hypocrite… why would gay people wont him on there side..i sure wouldn’t”

    jrock, so sad. I’m guessing you live in a world where nobody ever changes their mind, or grows, or forms new opinions based on new information. “Hypocrite” is the only term you can apply to somebody who does not hold the same opinions for the rest of his life?

  57. jmetal says:

    Why shouldn’t they? I think it would be ideal if all homophobic haters do the same.

  58. phallison says:

    So are you gay or do you speak for the gay community? Actually, I can’t really tell because your comment is ridden with spelling and grammatical errors…see, we all make mistakes. Idiot.

  59. Jeff Daschel says:

    Here’s why they want him on their side, even if he’s a hypocrite. That gives everyone in the State of Florida and nation to recconsider their position. Some may not be able to do such a 180 because they have in the past stood up in a different direction. Its time to reconsider those old-fashioned and archiac viewpoints is the moral of the story, just to get everyone to consider this again and again until everyone has equal rights. I applaud Mr. Hardaway, as I do anyone who makes a change from wrong to right.

  60. Claire Johnson says:

    No, he’s not a hypocrite. He is someone who has been educated about the issues. He has become an ally. It would be a very sad world indeed if no one could ever change his or her mind on an issue. Usually when someone who is homophobic or racist has a chance to meet and become acquaintances, if not actual friends, with a gay person or someone of another race, that is when their mind can be opened to the truth and they can change into an ally.

  61. James says:

    It means he has changed and realized what is right and wrong. His ignorance was bad but it’s your ignorance is attacking somebody who has made mistakes and realized what he did and said was wrong.

  62. Sam says:

    It’s not hypocrisy at all, Jrock. He would only be a hypocrite if he signed the petition whilst still believing and practicing homophobic behaviour. What we have here is just the victory of reason and logic and we should not channel any animosity towards it, lest we discourage it.

  63. Matt says:

    @jrock: I think you missed the point. The positive to take away from this is that anyone can change their viewpoint on the issue. If there is a person who was so vehemently opposed to the issue only a few years ago and has changed his stance, then that speaks volumes for what equality has achieved thus far and can achieve in the future.

  64. Tryptan says:

    (1) It’s not being a hypocrite to change your mind on something; that happens all the time and in thoughtful, intelligent people it is better to change your mind than to stick to a belief just to stick to it. He would only be a hypocrite if he continued gay-bashing but signed the petition.
    (2) How is it that you can spell “hypocrite” but can’t spell, “he’s” “want” and “their”?

  65. reallybro says:’d rather he stay on the side of inequality and be a voice against equal rights than discovering an error in his judgement and making a grand gesture in celebration of his change of heart? Yeah, that’s a much better idea.

  66. tilyadrop says:

    So no one is capable of becoming accepting or open-minded? You either start that way or you’re a hypocrite. Noted. What’s it like going through life as the only person who has never changed his mind about anything, jrock? If you ever learn the correct spelling of “want” or proper usage of apostrophes and “their”, make sure you never use that knowledge, lest you become a hypocrite.

  67. meshuggazombiejesus says:

    jrock, people DO sometimes come to their senses, you know. It DOES happen.

  68. Jess says:

    Learning better ways is a GOOD thing! We are all a work in progress- I love seeing growth and improvement 😀

  69. Tina says:

    A hypocrite? Seriously? He used to be a closed-minded bigot, now his views have clearly evolved and he’s grown as a person. He changed his mind, something everyone is entitled to do. Can you honestly say you’ve never, ever, changed your mind about anything? If so, I feel sorry for you. If no one ever changed their mind about anything based on education and life experience, then no one would ever learn or grow. And if the response to someone whose mind has changed about something like this is to call them a hypocrite, others with the same closed-minded attitudes will be significantly less likely to change their minds, and that helps no one.

  70. rowen says:

    Since the goal of equal rights efforts is to enact change, that means social change seekers have to find the respect and compassion to let people change their minds. After all, that’s what we’re asking them to do, so it isn’t fair to turn around afterwards and say, “You can’t change your mind, that makes you a hypocrite!”

    Also, let me just point out that it isn’t only gay people on the side of equal rights. Plenty of straight people support marriage equality too.

  71. Terry Karney says:

    jrock: soooo… One is never allowed to have a “come to jesus moment”.

    Good to know.

  72. Pastafarian says:

    @jrock: So people aren’t allowed to change their minds? Get over yourself. Someone coming around and letting go of bigotry should be celebrated, not scorned.

  73. jtotheroc says:

    Changing your mind does not make you a hypocrite.

  74. xmalice says:

    Changing your mind does not make you a hypocrite. If thinking about an issue, realizing you were wrong, & adjusting your viewpoint is hypocritical, what’s the point of even discussing anything?g

  75. Bert says:

    Although he said hurtfull things, he is allowed to change his mind for the better and admit he was wrong. Always better the continuing the hate path ! Amen!

  76. MSSmith says:

    A hypocrite is someone who does not live by principles or ideals he claims to have. Hardaway is not a hypocrite. He is a man whose beliefs have changed and who is choosing to speak out in accordance with that change. He is a rare individual: someone who can learn and change–and does.

  77. dman says:

    jrock, people like you are why more people don’t start supporting things that are fundamentally moral. There’s a difference between hypocrisy and changing your mind. If you were never allowed to change your mind we would all hate vegetables and die from scurvy. Or are you just saying that I’m a hypocritical vegetarian for not eating my vegetables when I was 5?

  78. Laurie Edwards says:

    If Mr. Hardaway has truly educated himself and changed his view, that’s fantastic. This is how we do it, one person at a time if necessary.

  79. Chris says:

    Seriously, more people should learn to keep their minds open. The only way any of us could be fixed in our ideas is if we already knew everything, and nothing ever changed. Here in the real world, any reasonable person should be capable of change. Kudos to Mr. Hardaway, and welcome to the right side of history.

  80. Mark says:

    if you can’t change your mind, how do you know you have one

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