Brendan Haywood Keeps Digging, Cites Tim Hardaway
Haywood has since posted what he dubs an apology on Yardbarker. As an avowed fan of the newly unfiltered relationship between athletes and fans, I'm encouraged that Haywood knew enough to know he needed to apologize. But in that apology, Haywood invokes the name Tim Hardaway (as in, "I wasn't trying to come off like Tim Hardaway") and offers up ye old "if it doesn't affect me, I don't really care" response to the very existence of homosexuality.
In other words, Haywood notifies us that he will continue to be a part of the problem.
In his initial rant, Haywood said that it felt like watching "gay porn" to see Marbury get a massage from his bro. He said -- this is a quote -- "there's no way any other professional athletes would wanna get dressed around this guy, because you gotta think something is a little, he's swinging from both sides of the fence."
That kind of talk and the "I don't care one way or another" bit don't match up. You do care, Brendan. You're a professional athlete, and you're saying you don't want to get dressed next to a guy who might be bisexual or gay.
You're entitled to have whatever internal fears you want. No one can put you on trial for getting nervous around a gay man, just as no one can prosecute a white woman who clutches her purse tightly when passing you on the street. Both fears are ignorant and accessory to a perpetual, destructive existence of fear of The Other. But they are your own fears.
The problem is when you transform those fears into public opinions. And when you spout those wrong and ignorant opinions unprovoked in a broadcast conversation, and attach said opinions to the whole of the professional athlete fraternity, you forfeit your right to be indignant regarding negative reactions to your private, personal fears, since you have made those a topic of public discourse. You cannot make a homophobic comment and days later distance yourself from it by saying you have no problem with gay people. It's the logical equivalent of "Some of my best friends are black!"
And that's exactly how Haywood comes across in his apology: indignant. "I wasn't trying to come off like Tim Hardaway." Clearly, Brendan Haywood learned nothing from Tim Hardaway. That, uh, you know, gay people are people, too, and they are not going to sexually assault you in the locker room. Is it really that hard to understand?
(Don't answer that.)