by Caroline Gutierrez Tim Hardaway, a former NBA player who spent much of his career with the Miami Heat before retiring with Indiana, was responding to questions about former player John Amaechi's admission that he is gay. "I hate gay people," Hardaway said. "I let it be known I don't like gay people and I don't like to be around gay people. I am homophobic. I don't like it. It shouldn't be in the world or in the United States sports." "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's right," Hardaway continued. "You know I don't think he should be in the locker room while we're in the locker room. I wouldn't even be a part of that. There's a lot of other people I hear who are like that and still in the closet. I don't like that." The NBA quickly announced that Hardaway has been removed from his duties connected to the NBA All-Star Game. "It is inappropriate for him to be representing us given the disparity between his views and ours," said NBA commissioner David Stern. Amaechi responded to ESPN, "Spewing vitriol isn't something we should give credit to (for sparking discussion). Society is not for that. One man has made hundreds of thousands of people now feel uncomfortable, unsafe, feel they should hide and run. "What he has done has made life more difficult, perhaps more dangerous, for people in society, not just in sports. His views embolden those who hold the same views. "When he depersonalizes it, it's not just a foolish comment. It's a foolish comment that echoes around the country. "People will feel under pressure, like they are under attack. They will feel anxious. They will know there's a face and a voice for all those people out there who hate them. I don't know how that can be conducive to any kind of society at all."
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