Being A Celebrity Means That Sometimes You Can’t Be So Blatantly Honest

By Gregory Moore
Updated: February 15, 2007

SAN ANTONIO — Ever heard the phrase, “Don’t start no mess, won’t be no mess?” I’m sure everyone has started something and wished they had taken the action back or wish that it had never happened. Well make room for Tim Hardaway because he is going to need a shoulder to cry on.

It seems that Hardaway let his true feelings about the gay and lesbian community come out a little too real than what he had intended and now he is backtracking on what he meant.

“I’m sorry,” Hardaway later said after his controversial statements on a Miami radio station on Wednesday. “I shouldn’t have said I hate gay people or anything like that.” Everyone now thinks Hardaway is some ogre of a human being who doesn’t deserve to be forgiven or allowed to do anything that is in the public eye of corporations or former employers. David Stern and the NBA have cancelled any appearances that Hardaway was supposed to do this weekend in Las Vegas because of his statements.

”It is inappropriate for him to be representing us given the disparity between his views and ours,” NBA Commissioner David Stern said in a statement issued by the league.

Several gay and lesbian organizations are coming out and decrying that Hardaway is not a caring person and there is enough fodder right now that I’m surprised that Inside Edition isn’t running a marathon of coverage on it.

But you want to know what the real problem that nobody seems to want to look in the mirror and see that we would rather trample on the first amendment rights of others so that we can be inclusive.

While he may personally feel the way he does and he has a first amendment right to say such things, because he is a celebrity, he now has to pay a price for alienating a segment of society.

I’ll delve into the muddy waters of this hot debate for a moment. While I think anyone who is homosexual is very much qualified in the workplace and I think that they deserve to be treated with the fairness and equality as proposed upon by our Constitution, I do not necessarily approve of or agree with their lifestyle because that’s not something that I personally believe in.

I’m not prejudging anyone in that social class and I’m not saying that they are wrong. I just have my own personal preferences on what a relationship is and that’s my own personal belief; just like I am sure that is how many of them may look at those who are heterosexuals.

Does that mean that I cannot work side by side with someone who is gay? No. Does that mean that we cannot go out and have a couple of drinks after work when a big project is done? Nope.

It simply means that when I go home to my humble abode, I handle my personal relationship with my significant other in one fashion and they do the same at their places of residence.

And that is exactly how Hardaway should have come across in his comments. He should have said something similar to what is written above that says that while he may not personally agree with the lifestyle of gays and lesbians, he should have said that he would not have a problem working with a co-worker who is gay or at least make the attempt of saying that he would have to talk to the individual.

Instead what Hardaway did was try to bee honest to a fault and that is just something that cannot be done with anyone of that stature. Ordinary citizens can get away with making brash and sometimes senseless statements but Hardaway isn’t a normal citizen; he’s a former NBA player and that still carries some clout.

But the difference between Hardaway and myself is that I am nowhere near the celebrity as Hardaway is. As I tell folks and as a friend once told me, my celebrity status is good for maybe an extra piece of fish and double dipped fries at my favorite fish market; it doesn’t get me anything as glamorous as I may think it should and the good thing is that I can recover from some mistakes where big time celebrities cannot.

Tim Hardaway is going to be paying a steep price for his personal beliefs. I’ll give him respect for saying them in an honest fashion but he is a celebrity and as such, you simply cannot say such things and expect everyone to think it is okay.

That’s not going to happen in this day and age. Hopefully he has learned an expensive lesson from being so honest; no matter how right he may think or feel.