NBA: Tim Hardaway First to Sign Florida Gay Marriage Petition

Retired NBA superstar Tim Hardaway became the first person to sign a Florida same-sex marriage petition six years after he declared in a radio interview that he was homophobic.

Jul 4 2013, 6:58pm CDT | by

NBA: Tim Hardaway First to Sign Florida Gay Marriage Petition
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Retired NBA superstar Tim Hardaway became the first person to sign a Florida same-sex marriage petition on Wednesday evening. 

The Huffington Post Miami reported on July 4 that Hardaway signed the first petition for Equal Marriage Florida which aims to overturn a 2008 state amendment forbidding same-sex marriage. According to the report, Hardaway "added his name while leaning over a pool table in a public ceremony at Sully's Tavern alongside Equal Marriage organizer Vanessa Brito."

Brito is a Miami-Dade County lesbian activist. Her Equal Marriage Florida project aims to define state marriage as a "union of two persons." It must have more than 680,000 signatures from registered voters to get on the ballot. 

Hardaway has been working hard to repair his reputation after he declared his disdain for gay people in a South Florida radio interview in 2007. When asked about former NBA player John Amaechi coming out, he admitted he was homophobic and would stay away from gay individuals. 

"You know, I hate gay people, so 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."

Later on the same day, Hardaway opened up to ESPN's Scoop Jackson

"When I see gay people holding hands or kissing in the streets, I just don't think that's right."

In September of 2007, Hardaway realized he hurt a lot of people with his comments. 

"I had no idea how much I hurt people. A lot of people."

He apparently sought to make amends by attending classes at the YES Institute, a suicide prevention group based in South Florida which focuses on LGBT youth. In addition, he also helped raise money for The Trevor Project, a national suicide hotline for gay youth. 

In 2011, he told the El Paso Times he resorted to counseling. 

"I opened my eyes and went to counseling."

Hardaway also reached out and endorsed NBA player Jason Collins when he came out and admitted he is gay. 

A copy of Hardaway's signed petition can be seen here.




Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.


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