Former NBA player Tim Hardaway has apologized once again for his remarks last week in which he expressed disapproval of homosexuality and a dislike for homosexuals. AP reports:

“I don’t hate gay people,” Hardaway said. “I’m a goodhearted person. I interact with people all the time. … I respect people. For me to say ‘hate’ was a bad word, and I didn’t mean to use it.” . . .

On Sunday, he acknowledged “that was very bad.”

His remarks quickly drew criticism from both the NBA and several gay and lesbian groups, and Hardaway said the firestorm surprised him.

“It was like, you know, I had killed somebody. … I never knew that this was going to escalate that high,” Hardaway said.

Hardaway was banished from some NBA-sanctioned appearances he was scheduled to make in Las Vegas as part of the all-star weekend.

He also lost at least one of his endorsement deals, and he ordered his name dropped from advertising at a car wash he owns in Miami, saying he made that decision to ensure the safety of his employees.

In response to Hardaway’s comments, a consensus has arisen that he must be destroyed not only socially but economically as well.

This use of raw power to destroy an individual for his opinions is truly repugnant. 

It’s not a political freedom of speech issue, because the government isn’t involved.

But it is indeed a freedom of speech issue for our society, because if an individual can be destroyed simply because he holds an opinion that is highly common in the society but unpopular among the elites, we really don’t have freedom of speech in this country.

That seems to be the moral of this story. Toe the line, or be ruined.

And this used to be a free country.