Clipperblog finds its way into the pages of Slate this morning with a review of John Amaechi's Man in the Middle. 

Frankly, I think Hardaway's comments are a net-plus for the debate.  Whatever harm the comments might do to the kid struggling with his sexuality in Wichita or Pocatello -- or New York City for that matter – is counterbalanced by the fact that we're finally getting honest.  As Amaechi said in his response to Hardaway's remarks:

Finally, someone who is honest.  It is ridiculous, absurd, petty, bigoted and shows a lack of empathy that is gargantuan and unfathomable. But it is honest. And it illustrates the problem better than any of the fuzzy language other people have used so far.  

Amen.  The metaphor I used in my email to Henry will be familiar to anyone who grew up with siblings.  It's that old classic: One brother is beating the shit out of the other brother, then there's a knock. It's Mom, and she yells through the door, "What's going on in there?!" She cracks the door open and the older brother, like the cat with the canary, says, "Oh, nothing, Mom!' and flashes a big smile. Then Mom, with a furrowed brow, says, "Alright. Behave." Then she closes the door and, once she's out of an earshot, the kid goes back to beating the crap out of his brother." At least Hardaway said, "Mom, I'm thrashing my brother.  He deserves it." 

A couple of points I want to make because I don't think they've been included in the debate:

First, whether homosexuality is a choice or a matter of predetermined biology is irrelevant.  What if it is a choice?  In a civil society – and last time I checked, the United States loosely fits the criteria – you're free to live the way you want to live, provided it doesn't directly infringe on the rights of others.[1]  So if it is a choice, it's my choice.  Personally – as I am on the matter of Mike Dunleavy – I'm agnostic on the choice/predetermination question, largely because it's inconsequential for the aforementioned reason.

Second, for those who are "sick of getting the story rammed down their throat," the story isn't for you.  In a nation of laws with a free press, we all get tired of certain stories.  I didn't need to hear a single word about Anna Nicole Smith, and if ESPN runs another NASCAR segment, I may eat my hat.  Living in Los Angeles as a sports fan and an excessive listener of Sports radio, I get far too much Lakers news.  But you know what?  Those stories weren't composed for me.  So consider for a moment that the Amaechi story isn't for your edification.  It's for the kid playing point guard at Mason City High who is scared to fucking death of dealing with his true inner life, or the kid whose father refers to the guy who just cut him off on the highway as "faggot."  Or me.  John Amaechi just made sports a little more hospitable to gay people.  So if you're exhausted from the coverage, then cut off ESPN8, step away from the computer and spend a couple of days with your family, friends, or dog.  Everyone needs some media decompression every once in a while.  Here's your chance. 

Third, you don't need to know about a player's personal life behind his bedroom door?  Really?   Because I remember endless hours of coverage and a civic obsession about what happened behind Kobe's door a few years back.  Or Juanita Juwanna and Jason Kidd's.  Or Britney Spears.  Or Marv Albert's.  Or Anna Kournikova's sexuality.  Or Rex Grossman's exploits.  Or whom Derek Jeter is banging.    

I mentioned in my last post about this that I wasn't an identity politics kind of guy.  But if Tim Hardaway is going to shit where I live, then I'll take up arms.  It really isn't a close call. 


[1] And spare me the dishonest parallels to pedophilia and bestiality.  We're talking about two consenting adults.  Actually, we're not talking about two adults.  We're talking about a single individual choosing an identity irrespective of anyone else.