Retired Miami Heat player Tim Hardaway, who caused a stir early this year when he told a radio interviewer “I hate gay people”, has been quietly working with the Miami-based YES Institute, an advocacy group for LGBT youth. Hardaway: “I’ve come to find out I made it possible to bash gay people. “
The director of the YES Institute says that Hardaway has been genuine and helpful. Hardaway says he’s been trying to change. “I’m working on understanding it now. I’m not really trying to make amends. I’ve been there trying to get help.”
After his homophobic comments blew up in the press, Hardaway lost endorsement deals and was forced to take his name off his Miami business. While some will doubtlessly see his LGBT youth advocacy as a crass attempt to rebuild his image and his bankability, I think we should give Hardaway the benefit of the doubt. People can change, as San Diego’s mayor taught us last week.