BY STEVE ROTHAUS, srothaus@MiamiHerald.com
Former Miami Heat guard Tim Hardaway, who in 2007 wrecked his post-basketball career by declaring on radio "I hate gay people," will co-sponsor a South Beach fundraiser Sunday for The Trevor Project -- a national suicide prevention group for gay youth.
"Gays and lesbians, we don't have to accept the act, but we have to accept them as people. Especially children, we don't want them to kill themselves. We want them to live their lives as they want to," said Hardaway, who took several training sessions at YES Institute, a local anti-suicide group for gay youth.
After the anti-gay rant, Hardaway lost his advertising endorsements and income.
"The endorsements will never come back. People have taken that and it's gone. I understand that. I'm trying to look for work and provide for my family," he said. "All that stuff has left me high and dry. I have to dig for work."
Hardaway has repeatedly apologized for what he said, but still wants to know who's gay in the locker room:
"We have a right to know. We'd say, `How do you want to do this? Do you want to go into the shower first, or do you want me to go into the shower first?' ''
Back then, he wouldn't have showered with a gay teammate, but today he might.
"I've probably already done it and not even known it."
The fundraiser takes place 7-10 p.m. Sunday at Halo, 1625 Michigan Ave., Miami Beach.