This comment is a tactic used by people against anyone who says something negative about a homosexual. The tactic has worked because it's one thing not to like gay people but to be portrayed as being afraid of them isn't tolerable.
The argument usually ends up with, "People who are homophobic are usually just trying to cover up for their own homosexual feelings." Hence this logic means that if you're afraid of something it's because you want to be that thing you're afraid of. Personally I'm afraid of Pirates, Leprechauns, Gypsies and snakes. Deep down inside I want to be all of these things but because I can't be I must bash them in my private thoughts because I'm a coward...unlike Mr. Hardaway.
Tim Hardaway sidestepped the whole matter in one sentence which I'll quote:
"You know, I hate gay people, so I let it be known. I don't like gay people and I don't like to be around gay people," he said. "I'm homophobic. I don't like it. It shouldn't be in the world or in the United States."
I personally think it's wrong to make fun of people because of their fears. Tim Hardaway is a strong and athletic man having been a former NBA star but he suffers from an acute fear of homosexuals. It may seem silly to many of us who feel very natural and comfortable around homos but this is the nature of fear. It isn't easily understood by people who do not have it.
As a Seattle SuperSonic fan since the 70's I'm accustomed to gay basketball players. Jack Sikma, Tom Chambers, Dale Ellis, and scores of other courageous gay athletes have donned the green and gold. I've recently overheard many Sonics fans nonchalantly proclaim, "This team is so gay." and "...another gay season down the drain." We simply take it for granted. No group of fans in any other part of the world understands gay basketball quite like Seattle Supersonic fans do. We cheer for them and celebrate their courage.
I once knew a guy who was a normal upstanding individual that was afraid of spiders. His fear was irrational and silly for a man of his size to be afraid of something so small but his fear was real. It would've been cruel to single him out because of something he wasn't able to cope with.
I'm glad that Tim Hardaway came out of the closet and admitted a fear that he has. Tim Hardaway is a Homophobic-American and deserves our respect for his courage to admit it.