Archive for the ‘Hardaway’ Category

The Birmingham Times: Fair and Balanced (well, almost)

February 28, 2007

I hope this is the last time I feel compelled to write about Tim Hardaway and John Amaechi. Not that the story is not important, but it’s sort of like Anna Nicole Smith and Britney Spears. I picked up a copy of The Birmingham Times, which bills itself as the Southeast’s Largest Black Weekly, on Monday, February 26, (the issue was dated Thursday, February 22.) While most of the news and opinion was upbeat, two columns on the sports page reflected an intolerance that seems to be accepted in Alabama. The columns are about Tim Hardaway’s admitted homophobia.

Paul Finebaum seems to think it is OK (although stupid) to use the word “hate” in describing your feelings (this same column appeared in The Western Star on Feb 21, 2007). But what if it had been John Amaechi who uttered the word, saying he hated, for instance, Jewish people, said they shouldn’t be in the United States, or in the world. What if a retired white player, like Larry Bird, stated that he hated black people? While we can not control what people feel, we should not just dismiss it when they publicly proclaim their hatred. It’s time, past time, to put hatred aside, and search for common bonds and start to lift people up, not tear them down. Read Finebaum’s article here:

http://thebirminghamtimes.com/news/Article/Article.asp?NewsID=75989&sID=16%20

This brings me to the second columnist, DaMarcus Miller. Miller’s column is titled “Tolerance to Alternative Lifestyles Is Not Mandatory.” Read Miller’s article here:

http://thebirminghamtimes.com/news/Article/Article.asp?NewsID=75984&sID=16%20

He is critical of John Amaechi for coming out of the closet and proclaiming his “gay lifestyle.” First of all, Amaechi proclaimed his sexual orientation, not his “lifestyle.” Furthermore the lifestyles of gay men are as varied as the lifestyles of heterosexual men. Some are productive, upstanding citizens, some are not. Some are raising children, some are raising hell. Some gay men are so wealthy that they enjoy a lifestyle that I can only dream about, while some heterosexual men enjoy a lifestyle filled with weekends of golf and hunting, while ignoring their children. Lifestyle pertains to one’s opportunities and choices and has nothing to do with one’s sexual orientation.

After stating that he would abandon a friendship with a close buddy if that man came out to him, he states “I should not be deemed homophobic for not being comfortable around gay guys.” Then he goes on to compare homosexuality to drug dealers and pedophiles and says he is not comfortable around them either. This comparison is ludicrous, since drug dealers and pedophiles are lawbreakers by definition. And it perpetuates the misunderstanding that being homosexual is criminal.

Miller goes on to say that he will not hang out with gay men because they might be checking him out. Please, Mr. Miller, is your ego really that big? Do you think women should avoid you because you are a straight man, and you might be checking them out? This tells me that you are not very secure in your own sexuality.

Miller says that heterosexuals do not go around proclaiming their heterosexuality, but in truth they do. Every time we see their wedding announcements and pictures in the paper, every time we see their wedding band, we all know they are (or claim to be) heterosexual. But what we don’t do is then let our imagination take us into their bedroom. Mr. Miller, you are right, what a guy does in his bedroom is his business. So why do you make it your business and think first about sex when a man lets you know he is gay?

Birmingham Times gets it right

To the Birmingham Times’ credit, they have an article, author unknown, on the same page as these columns that supports the NBA’s decision to ban Hardaway from NBA affiliated activities. The article, titled “NBA makes the right call”, describes an upcoming event sponsored by the National Black Justice Coalition that is inviting Black churches from across the nation to gather in Philadelphia to discuss how to combat homophobia in the Black community. The event is the 2nd Annual Black Church Summit. Learn more at their web site, http://www.nbjcoalition.org/. I salute the editors of the Birmingham Times for printing this, and hope that pastors from the Birmingham and Bessemer area will make efforts to attend. (I could not find this article in their online edition.)

Miller says that tolerance is not mandatory, but I say that tolerance is not enough. John Amaechi was being interviewed on ESPN and was answering questions about tolerance. I’m paraphrasing, but he said having to be tolerated isn’t enough. He indicated that he should not have to be tolerated for being black, he should be accepted, and he said the same holds true for homosexuality. Tolerance seems to indicate putting up with something you shouldn’t have to. That is not acceptable to John, and it is not acceptable to me.

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>The Birmingham Times: Fair and Balanced (well, almost)

February 28, 2007

>I hope this is the last time I feel compelled to write about Tim Hardaway and John Amaechi. Not that the story is not important, but it’s sort of like Anna Nicole Smith and Britney Spears. I picked up a copy of The Birmingham Times, which bills itself as the Southeast’s Largest Black Weekly, on Monday, February 26, (the issue was dated Thursday, February 22.) While most of the news and opinion was upbeat, two columns on the sports page reflected an intolerance that seems to be accepted in Alabama. The columns are about Tim Hardaway’s admitted homophobia.

Paul Finebaum seems to think it is OK (although stupid) to use the word “hate” in describing your feelings (this same column appeared in The Western Star on Feb 21, 2007). But what if it had been John Amaechi who uttered the word, saying he hated, for instance, Jewish people, said they shouldn’t be in the United States, or in the world. What if a retired white player, like Larry Bird, stated that he hated black people? While we can not control what people feel, we should not just dismiss it when they publicly proclaim their hatred. It’s time, past time, to put hatred aside, and search for common bonds and start to lift people up, not tear them down. Read Finebaum’s article here:

http://thebirminghamtimes.com/news/Article/Article.asp?NewsID=75989&sID=16%20

This brings me to the second columnist, DaMarcus Miller. Miller’s column is titled “Tolerance to Alternative Lifestyles Is Not Mandatory.” Read Miller’s article here:

http://thebirminghamtimes.com/news/Article/Article.asp?NewsID=75984&sID=16%20

He is critical of John Amaechi for coming out of the closet and proclaiming his “gay lifestyle.” First of all, Amaechi proclaimed his sexual orientation, not his “lifestyle.” Furthermore the lifestyles of gay men are as varied as the lifestyles of heterosexual men. Some are productive, upstanding citizens, some are not. Some are raising children, some are raising hell. Some gay men are so wealthy that they enjoy a lifestyle that I can only dream about, while some heterosexual men enjoy a lifestyle filled with weekends of golf and hunting, while ignoring their children. Lifestyle pertains to one’s opportunities and choices and has nothing to do with one’s sexual orientation.

After stating that he would abandon a friendship with a close buddy if that man came out to him, he states “I should not be deemed homophobic for not being comfortable around gay guys.” Then he goes on to compare homosexuality to drug dealers and pedophiles and says he is not comfortable around them either. This comparison is ludicrous, since drug dealers and pedophiles are lawbreakers by definition. And it perpetuates the misunderstanding that being homosexual is criminal.

Miller goes on to say that he will not hang out with gay men because they might be checking him out. Please, Mr. Miller, is your ego really that big? Do you think women should avoid you because you are a straight man, and you might be checking them out? This tells me that you are not very secure in your own sexuality.

Miller says that heterosexuals do not go around proclaiming their heterosexuality, but in truth they do. Every time we see their wedding announcements and pictures in the paper, every time we see their wedding band, we all know they are (or claim to be) heterosexual. But what we don’t do is then let our imagination take us into their bedroom. Mr. Miller, you are right, what a guy does in his bedroom is his business. So why do you make it your business and think first about sex when a man lets you know he is gay?

Birmingham Times gets it right

To the Birmingham Times’ credit, they have an article, author unknown, on the same page as these columns that supports the NBA’s decision to ban Hardaway from NBA affiliated activities. The article, titled “NBA makes the right call”, describes an upcoming event sponsored by the National Black Justice Coalition that is inviting Black churches from across the nation to gather in Philadelphia to discuss how to combat homophobia in the Black community. The event is the 2nd Annual Black Church Summit. Learn more at their web site, http://www.nbjcoalition.org/. I salute the editors of the Birmingham Times for printing this, and hope that pastors from the Birmingham and Bessemer area will make efforts to attend. (I could not find this article in their online edition.)

Miller says that tolerance is not mandatory, but I say that tolerance is not enough. John Amaechi was being interviewed on ESPN and was answering questions about tolerance. I’m paraphrasing, but he said having to be tolerated isn’t enough. He indicated that he should not have to be tolerated for being black, he should be accepted, and he said the same holds true for homosexuality. Tolerance seems to indicate putting up with something you shouldn’t have to. That is not acceptable to John, and it is not acceptable to me.

The Western Star and Tim Hardaway

February 22, 2007

The Western Star in Bessemer, AL has once again published inaccurate information on its opinion page, in a column titled “Hardaway ban a bit extreme,” authored by editor Dale Jones. Most of you know that former NBA star Tim Hardaway recently said “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 (who knew?) I don’t like it. It shouldn’t be in the world or in the United States.” In the column Jones asserts that “I, Dale Jones, DO NOT HATE GAY PEOPLE. (Emphasis his). I have acquaintances who are gay. I don’t hate them. I am in total disagreement with their choice of lifestyle, but I don’t hate them.” He goes on to comment on Hardaway’s apology, in particular Hardaway’s comparison between the bigotry that African-Americans experience because of race, and the prejudice against homosexuals. Jones counters that homosexuality and race can not be compared because no one has a choice about their race or sex.

Homosexuality is a choice.”

That is Jones’s statement on the issue. That is what I take issue with.

It is true that Tim Hardaway has a right to hate whomever he wants to, and to say what he wants to in this country. It is also true that Hardaway was stupid to make those remarks in a public forum, and maybe the NBA was right in not allowing a controversial figure represent them on a weekend that is supposed to be all fun and games. It is also stupid for this paper to defend him, even in the roundabout way that it did.

Many noted professional basketball players (and former players) including Charles Barkley have come out against Hardaway in this debate. Just because one person on ESPN says that the majority of players in the NBA feel as Hardaway does, does not make it so. I don’t doubt that homophobia exists in all professional sports, basketball included, but I doubt the majority feel that way, just as the majority of Americans don’t feel that way.

But my biggest beef is with Jones’s statement that homosexuality is a choice. The sentence, standing alone in his column, not surrounded by other sentences as part of a paragraph, is a gross and glaring example of this writer’s ignorance on the subject of homosexuality. If Jones had any friends who were homosexuals, he might understand. Oh he admits to having “acquaintances” but not any friends. Friends you talk to, you understand, you learn from. Any educated person in 2007 knows that there is a spectrum of sexuality and while various decision making processes may play a role in how humans express their sexuality, it does not play a role in who one is innately attracted to. If it were a choice to be homosexual, then it would also be a choice to be heterosexual. That would mean we all at some point had to make a choice of whether to be attracted to members of the opposite sex, or the same sex. So if you think it is a choice, think back to when you made your decision. Did you think, “Well let’s see, I need to be deciding which I’m gonna be….” I didn’t think so.

Certainly there are homosexuals who choose to behave in heterosexual ways, possibly even getting married and having children. And some heterosexuals find themselves in situations where they choose to have homosexual relations. But in these cases, the person is not choosing their sexual orientation, they are choosing their behavior. There is a big difference.

Jones says that Hardaway’s comparison of sexuality to race in unwarranted, because homosexuality is a choice and race is not. Mr. Jones, homosexuality, just like heterosexuality, is part of one’s innate being, just like race, gender, eye color and left and right handedness. The American Medical Association agrees, as does the American Academy of Pediatrics, The American Psychiatric Association, The American Psychological Association, and the American Psychoanalytic Association. Even most American Christian church denominations now agree that homosexuality is not a choice, while they may argue (wrongly) that the behavior is sinful, most realize that homosexuality is innate and can not be changed (if anyone wants my views on homosexuality and Christianity, I will be glad to share…drop me an email metrocat10@aol.com).

It seems that Jones has gone out of his way to criticize homosexuality in the last few months. What is that really about? Aren’t there more important issues in Bessemer that The Western Star could be reporting on? I get more information from the Birmingham News Western Section on Wednesdays (thank you Robert Gordon) than I do from the Western Star. In this week’s Birmingham News we learned about Bessemer judges, about the school board’s plans for the new high school, about Eddie Bevelle returning to Downtown to open a new restaurant, about the utility board’s plan to buy out Coventa Energy’s contract, about certain streetlights being replaced and other actions of the city council. I hope The Western Star can return to printing relevant news that concerns our city and it’s citizens, and less inaccurate opinion and syndicated columns (especially when they express the opinions of writers who live 600 miles or so away from here).

>The Western Star and Tim Hardaway

February 22, 2007

>The Western Star in Bessemer, AL has once again published inaccurate information on its opinion page, in a column titled “Hardaway ban a bit extreme,” authored by editor Dale Jones. Most of you know that former NBA star Tim Hardaway recently said “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 (who knew?) I don’t like it. It shouldn’t be in the world or in the United States.” In the column Jones asserts that “I, Dale Jones, DO NOT HATE GAY PEOPLE. (Emphasis his). I have acquaintances who are gay. I don’t hate them. I am in total disagreement with their choice of lifestyle, but I don’t hate them.” He goes on to comment on Hardaway’s apology, in particular Hardaway’s comparison between the bigotry that African-Americans experience because of race, and the prejudice against homosexuals. Jones counters that homosexuality and race can not be compared because no one has a choice about their race or sex.

Homosexuality is a choice.”

That is Jones’s statement on the issue. That is what I take issue with.

It is true that Tim Hardaway has a right to hate whomever he wants to, and to say what he wants to in this country. It is also true that Hardaway was stupid to make those remarks in a public forum, and maybe the NBA was right in not allowing a controversial figure represent them on a weekend that is supposed to be all fun and games. It is also stupid for this paper to defend him, even in the roundabout way that it did.

Many noted professional basketball players (and former players) including Charles Barkley have come out against Hardaway in this debate. Just because one person on ESPN says that the majority of players in the NBA feel as Hardaway does, does not make it so. I don’t doubt that homophobia exists in all professional sports, basketball included, but I doubt the majority feel that way, just as the majority of Americans don’t feel that way.

But my biggest beef is with Jones’s statement that homosexuality is a choice. The sentence, standing alone in his column, not surrounded by other sentences as part of a paragraph, is a gross and glaring example of this writer’s ignorance on the subject of homosexuality. If Jones had any friends who were homosexuals, he might understand. Oh he admits to having “acquaintances” but not any friends. Friends you talk to, you understand, you learn from. Any educated person in 2007 knows that there is a spectrum of sexuality and while various decision making processes may play a role in how humans express their sexuality, it does not play a role in who one is innately attracted to. If it were a choice to be homosexual, then it would also be a choice to be heterosexual. That would mean we all at some point had to make a choice of whether to be attracted to members of the opposite sex, or the same sex. So if you think it is a choice, think back to when you made your decision. Did you think, “Well let’s see, I need to be deciding which I’m gonna be….” I didn’t think so.

Certainly there are homosexuals who choose to behave in heterosexual ways, possibly even getting married and having children. And some heterosexuals find themselves in situations where they choose to have homosexual relations. But in these cases, the person is not choosing their sexual orientation, they are choosing their behavior. There is a big difference.

Jones says that Hardaway’s comparison of sexuality to race in unwarranted, because homosexuality is a choice and race is not. Mr. Jones, homosexuality, just like heterosexuality, is part of one’s innate being, just like race, gender, eye color and left and right handedness. The American Medical Association agrees, as does the American Academy of Pediatrics, The American Psychiatric Association, The American Psychological Association, and the American Psychoanalytic Association. Even most American Christian church denominations now agree that homosexuality is not a choice, while they may argue (wrongly) that the behavior is sinful, most realize that homosexuality is innate and can not be changed (if anyone wants my views on homosexuality and Christianity, I will be glad to share…drop me an email metrocat10@aol.com).

It seems that Jones has gone out of his way to criticize homosexuality in the last few months. What is that really about? Aren’t there more important issues in Bessemer that The Western Star could be reporting on? I get more information from the Birmingham News Western Section on Wednesdays (thank you Robert Gordon) than I do from the Western Star. In this week’s Birmingham News we learned about Bessemer judges, about the school board’s plans for the new high school, about Eddie Bevelle returning to Downtown to open a new restaurant, about the utility board’s plan to buy out Coventa Energy’s contract, about certain streetlights being replaced and other actions of the city council. I hope The Western Star can return to printing relevant news that concerns our city and it’s citizens, and less inaccurate opinion and syndicated columns (especially when they express the opinions of writers who live 600 miles or so away from here).