Dwight Howard’s Incredible Response To Gay Rumors

Dwight Howard’s Incredible Response To Gay Rumors

When the Los Angeles Lakers took a chance and signed Dwight Howard in 2019, many thought the move would come back to bite them. The 34-year-old big man had bounced around the league with little success for years, so the doubt was understandable.

In light of Howard’s successful run with the Lakers, it is worth remembering one especially impressive act by him that flew under the radar.

This past year, a self-proclaimed gay man claimed that he and Howard had been involved in some sort of tawdry relationship. Because the accusations were scandalous and involved a big-name NBA star, they spread like wildfire.

Despite the dubious veracity of the charges, people couldn’t get enough of the salacious details. A legal battle between Howard and his accuser ultimately ensued.

Given the seriousness of the situation and all the public scrutiny that came with it, Howard easily could have fumbled the ball and mishandled the matter. Instead, he did the opposite. The big man handled it with all the poise in the world – proving once and for all how much he has grown over the past few years.

When confronted by an accusation that he had been in a gay relationship, Howard responded coolly and serenely.

“I’m not gay,” Howard said at the time.

“[But] I think that liberated me,” he continued. “Because I saw how a lot of people would feel, whether they’re gay or they’re straight. Whether they have issues. People are afraid to be who they are.

“They’re afraid to just step out and be. Because they’re afraid of what other people might say or think about them. That situation made me realize you’re not like this, but just be you, be free.”

The entire ordeal led to Howard gaining a greater sense of understanding for people who may be in the closet and struggling to come out.

“It’s a lot of people who are and they have to hide, and there’s people who have mental issues and they have to hide. There’s people who have different problems in life and they have to hide. They have to put on the mask every day, and it’s like, I don’t wanna wear no mask, I just wanna be.”

Over the years, Howard developed a reputation as an immature guy just gliding through life based on his natural athletic gifts – but he’s way more than that. And experiences like this particular one have helped him continue to evolve.

“I went through a situation last year that really just set me free,” Howard said.

“It ended up being a situation that was—it went viral. People were talking about it, and it upset me because I didn’t even know who the person was. Why would somebody who I never met, never had any contact with, make up a whole story about me? I saw all the hate, the pure hate, from people that I’ve never met before, just pile up everywhere I went.”

Howard is now entering a very intriguing offseason. Both the Lakers and Golden State Warriors appear to be interested in his services, so it will be intriguing to see where he lands.

Either way, based on what he has shown over the past year, he will be an asset to any organization that ultimately opts to take a chance on him.

Related: Warriors Legend Reveals 1 Player They Really Need To Sign

Carlos Garcia

A longtime sports reporter, Carlos Garcia has written about some of the biggest and most notable athletic events of the last 5 years. He has been credentialed to cover MLS, NBA and MLB games all over the United States. His work has been published on Fox Sports, Bleacher Report, AOL and the Washington Post.

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