Last week, a former NBA player named John Amaechi came out and said that he was gay. It immediately caused a firestorm, not necessarily because he was gay, but because of when he was coming out with it, since he's now promoting a book. Some thought it should have come out much sooner, while he was still playing, and others wish he'd never said anything. So be it.

Then, on Wednesday, while ramping up to the NBA All Star game, former player Tim Hardaway lost his mind and said, during an interview, that he hated gays and, if he were on a team with one, would either not want to know or would avoid him. This caused a firestorm of its own, as he was basically thrown out of any further promotions for the NBA and, I figure, forced (had to be) to apologize for what he said. Well, kind of; he only apologized for saying he hated them; he didn't back off on anything else.

Amaechi's response was interesting. He said he was glad that someone finally had the courage to come out and state his opinion. His actual quote was:

"Finally, someone who is honest. It is ridiculous, absurb, petty, bigoted and shows a lack of empathy that is gargantuan and unfathomable. But it is honest. And it illustrates the problem better than any of the fuzzy language other people have used so far."

I'm not so sure I like the honesty part. Hardaway was one of those players who always spoke his mind back in the day, and was controversial in his own right. However, his words have easily crystalized why many gay people are still scared to come forward and live their lives the way they wish to. When the word "hate" pops into your language, it's a serious thing, and something more than an apology has to take place. Look at what happened to Isaiah Washington, who supposedly used a negative epithet while in an argument with another actor who happens to be gay. He didn't even use the word "hate", and he might have his career ended because word got out on what happened backstage.

Oh yeah, there was this irony that, as Hardaway made his proclamation, he'd been involved in an event with Sheryl Swoopes, an acknowledged homosexual player in the WNBA. I guess people get to pick and choose just who they hate, based on their own criteria.