On Monday night, the Golden State Warriors learned a valuable lesson about who to not put in front of a live microphone. During the Warriors’ live telecast of their game against the San Antonio Spurs, the team brought back Bay Area legends Tim Hardaway, Mitch Richmond, and Chris Mullin. They called it the “Run TMC” takeover, which is an homage to the trios’ time with the franchise from 1989 to 1991.
All had gone well through the first half of the broadcast, then, early in the third quarter, there was a moment that has since gone viral. During a Warriors fast break in which Stephen Curry was fouled on the wing while shooting a three-pointer, Hardaway went into business for himself, uttering a phrase he surely wishes he could take back.
“So y’all thought that was great D, I thought that was just raping him,” Hardaway exclaimed in an awkward on-air moment. The killer crossover creator, Hardaway, did apologize later in the broadcast, but that doesn’t negate his lack of self-awareness.
You’d think a guy whose mouth has gotten him in trouble and cost him money in the past would choose his words more wisely. In 2007, Hardaway was a guest on Dan Le Batard’s radio show in Miami and went on a tirade about how he hated “gay people” and wouldn’t want them in the locker room.
“You know, I hate gay people, so I let it be known,” Hardaway said. “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.”
Following Hardaway’s hateful rant, the former All-Star guard was persona non grata around the NBA for a few years.
Sometimes you can get a little too comfortable and forget you’re in a professional space. That was neither the time nor place for that crude comment. If it’s a must that you use that kind of terminology, it needs to be left at home. No one needs to hear that during a basketball game on a foul that wasn’t nearly as egregious as the announcer’s comment.
Sexual violence is a topic that hits close to home for so many people. Most people either know someone close to them or have been a victim of sexual assault. According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, one in five women in the United States has been a victim of sexual violence. In the U.S., 81 percent of women and 43 percent of men have reported experiencing some form of sexual harassment or assault in their lifetime.
Luckily, Hardaway’s apology came much quicker following his recent “slip of the tongue” than it did following his homophobic tirade, but it shows he hasn’t learned anything from his past indiscretion. I’m all for second chances, and clearly, the Warriors are too, since they brought Hardaway back into the fold a few years back.
Being stationed in the San Francisco Bay area, the Warriors have been an inclusive organization over the years. Former team President Rick Welts was an openly gay executive in the league and came out in 2011, then helped build the Warriors into the dynasty we know today.
Hardaway will forever be tied to this Golden State franchise, but it doesn’t make it easy for them when he makes comments like these. It’s great that he apologized, but when people continue to make the same “mistakes,” it makes you wonder if they’re ever paying attention. It’s ok to have a filter sometimes. It shows maturity and self-control. Or if you can’t help yourself, you can always invest in a muzzle.