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Joe Maloof Harshes on Hardaway

In the wake of former NBA player John Amaechi's announcement that he was gay, and the ensuing fallout over "knuckle dragging mouth breather" Tim Hardaway's ridiculous comments in response, Kings co-owner Joe Maloof has become one of Amaechi's strongest supporters, saying the bigotry that Hardaway demonstrated has no place on a team.

Via Towleroad:

Sacramento Kings co-owner Gavin Maloof said a bigoted player would not have a place on his team: "What he said was uncalled for. What he said was wrong. I'm sure he apologized for it, but the damage has been done. He should have never said that. Because we don't want to be judged by race, creed, color, sexual preference. I mean, people are people. And that's the way it should be."

John Amaechi himself, in a great Q&A in Philadelphia's City Paper notes Maloof's support, and says it is a favorable sign from a front-office perspective that teams would be more open to having gay players on their roster than when he was playing.

I think there are some owners have reputations that would and others that have different reputations but what we do know is that the league and [NBA Commissioner] David Stern has made clear what they expect.  And we have owners like Mark Cuban who are very outspoken and others.  I think Joe Maloof [owner of the Sacramento Kings, who said he wouldn't want a player on his roster who held Hardaway's sentiments] has made very similar comments to Mark Cuban so it's not all bad.

I much prefer hearing Maloof say Hardaway's comments have no place than the status quo of expecting that players like Amaechi have no place. Small steps...