Skip to comments.NBA center Jason Collins becomes first openly gay active player in major U.S. sport
Posted on 04/29/2013 11:24:02 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Two weeks ago we were writing about a terrorist attack, today we’re writing about gay basketball players. A blogger’s life for me, my friends.
Easy prediction: 75 percent of the public will be casually supportive or casually disapproving but either way almost entirely indifferent. Fifteen percent, including lots of pols, celebrities, and the media, will support him enthusiastically. The other 10 percent will hassle him on the court or from the stands either because they dislike gays or just to spite the 15 percent of “opinion leaders” on the other side. Collins will get a standing O at his first home game next year — if he ends up being signed — and some fans on the road will get nasty with him when he fouls someone too roughly. He’ll do a few ads. Then, after a few months, with rare exceptions, everyone will get bored with it.
By its nature, my double life has kept me from getting close to any of my teammates. Early in my career I worked hard at acting straight, but as I got more comfortable in my straight mask it required less effort. In recent days, though, little has separated “mask on, mask off.” Personally, I don’t like to dwell in someone else’s private life, and I hope players and coaches show me the same respect. When I’m with my team I’m all about working hard and winning games. A good teammate supports you no matter what.
I’ve been asked how other players will respond to my announcement. The simple answer is, I have no idea. I’m a pragmatist. I hope for the best, but plan for the worst. The biggest concern seems to be that gay players will behave unprofessionally in the locker room. Believe me, I’ve taken plenty of showers in 12 seasons. My behavior wasn’t an issue before, and it won’t be one now. My conduct won’t change. I still abide by the adage, “What happens in the locker room stays in the locker room.” I’m still a model of discretion…
Openness may not completely disarm prejudice, but it’s a good place to start. It all comes down to education. I’ll sit down with any player who’s uneasy about my coming out. Being gay is not a choice. This is the tough road and at times the lonely road. Former players like Tim Hardaway, who said “I hate gay people” (and then became a supporter of gay rights), fuel homophobia. Tim is an adult. He’s entitled to his opinion. God bless America. Still, if I’m up against an intolerant player, I’ll set a pretty hard pick on him. And then move on.
The most you can do is stand up for what you believe in. I’m much happier since coming out to my friends and family. Being genuine and honest makes me happy.
Collins technically isn’t the first active player from a big-four sport to be openly gay, he’s the first active player to go public with it. (Glenn Burke, an outfielder for the Dodgers and A’s in the 70s, was out to his teammates and coaches but didn’t announce it publicly until after he retired.) Early reaction is what you’d expect:
Proud of @jasoncollins34. Don’t suffocate who u r because of the ignorance of others #courage #support #mambaarmystandup #BYOU
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) April 29, 2013
NBA commissioner David Stern releases statement supporting Jason Collins twitter.com/BuzzFeedNews/s
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) April 29, 2013
Jason Collins’ team @washwizards: “We are extremely proud of Jason and support his decision…” twitter.com/BuzzFeedNews/s
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) April 29, 2013
The White House:
“Here at the White House we view this as another example of the progress we’ve made and the evolution that has taken place,” press secretary Jay Carney said when asked if President Obama had a statement on Collins. Carney said he had not talked to the president directly about Collins.
And the Big Dog:
Former President Bill Clinton on Monday congratulated NBA center Jason Collins for becoming the first openly gay male American professional athlete.
I have known Jason Collins since he was Chelseas classmate and friend at Stanford. Jasons announcement today is an important moment for professional sports and in the history of the LGBT community, Clinton said in a statement.
It’s early yet, though. Someone in some league somewhere inevitably will say something disapproving, whereupon he’ll be shredded in the press until he formulaically apologizes.
By the way: None of this is a surprise, and Collins almost certainly isn’t the the only active big-four athlete who’ll be out by the end of summer. NFL player Brendon Ayanbadejo told the Baltimore Sun on April 5 that “up to four players” were discussing whether to come out on the same day, to take the heat off of each of them individually. There’s been endless whispering in the media over the last month about MLB, the NFL, the NBA, and the NHL preparing for this sort of thing. Advertisers have been preparing too, with Nike practically dangling cash in front of gay athletes to get them to speak up:
Nike asked Welts to deliver a message to anyone thinking about becoming the first openly gay athlete in major U.S. team sports — the company wants him as an endorser.
They made it clear to me Nike would embrace it, Welts, 60, now president of the National Basketball Associations Golden State Warriors, said in a telephone interview. The player who does it, theyre going to be amazed at the additional opportunities that are put on the table, not the ones that are taken off.…
Weve passed the tipping point to where national advertisers are no longer afraid of the gay market, said Mark Elderkin, chief executive officer of the Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based Gay Ad Network.
That calculus would be complicated for a superstar, especially in a sport like football, but not for an average aging player like Collins. So this is really just phase one: Now there’s a man on the court whom everyone knows is gay, but who doesn’t draw much attention otherwise. Phase two will be when an all-star, who carries his team, comes out. How much more pressure will he deal with from teammates and fans?
Exit question from DrewM: If people want to boo someone for their personal lives, why not boo these guys?
Update: That was fast. Dolphins WR Mike Wallace apparently tweeted “All these beautiful women in the world and guys wanna mess with other guys SMH That tweet’s now gone, per TMZ, replaced by this:
Never said anything was right or wrong I just said I don’t understand!! Deeply sorry for anyone that I offended
— Mike Wallace (@Wallace17_daKid) April 29, 2013
Update: Like I said, the other leagues are preparing.
The baseball world voices its support for @jasoncollins34: atmlb.com/ZLYgwk
— MLB (@MLB) April 29, 2013
I don’t follow celebrities much. I wonder if there was ever a forensic medical investigation going backwards to determine where he got it and how many others were exposed.
Jonas Salk didn’t get this much ink.
Speaking of ink, it should have been a clue as this player seemingly is NOT covered with tats (at least visible as per pix).
RE: this player seemingly is NOT covered with tats
Neither were Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird... don’t tell me they’re all gay too! :(
“the United States has become a place where entertainers and professional athletes are mistaken for people of significance.”
Robert a. Heinlein.
If you read my entire post you would see that its the idiots on the left who make a big fuss about this because they want to promote the gay agenda..who cares that this guy who averaged 1 pt per game came out..if he wants to be a fruit fine, but I am sick of the media trying to throw it in our faces every second
It’s awful, isn’t it.
Right. Hold onto it tightly and keep it in view when in the vicinity of known rump rangers.
So the NBA, ESPN, Nike, SI, and the media are going to make sure that NO ONE speaks out against this and crucify those that do. They are going to push 24/7.
Should someone still watch their games? Give them eyeball for advertising dollars?
I could go on but it’s useless. The frogs in the pot are so used to the hot water...they spend all their time saying...who cares?
Well now there is a twitter campaign to get Chris Broussard fired for saying that he thinks Homosexuality is a sin..he has every right to his opinion, but of course the left wants to silence ANYONE who speaks out against the gay agenda..we will be seeing much more of this..speak out against the gay agenda, and wind up fired
Right. Exactly my point.
That’s why the “who cares” people are aiding the gay mafia and hurting this guy and the lady that doesn’t want to do gay weddings, don’t want their children having to pretend to be lesbians.
It’s gone past tolerance to aiding the enemy.
That's nothing new; it's been going on since 1900 or even a little before then. It's just the quantity and speed of the media covering entertainers and athletes that has increased over time, making them seem more significant.
I understand what your saying..I was just trying to say how the media is making such a big deal about this..like this is the most important thing in the world with breaking news alert was ridiculous..thats what I meant by “Who cares” people are in the hospital right now with their arms and legs blown off by a terrorist and its not being covered but THIS is..This is what the left is all about, distraction..talking about this instead of what the Obama Administration really wants to do..DESTROY traditional marriage..I even heard about a lesbian activist who revealed the REAL motive for gay marriage..that its all a lie..what they really want to do is destroy marriage in this country
Oh and calling Collins “Courageous” made me the most upset..you know whats courageous..serving in our military and DYING for our country..battling horrendous diseases like cancer..Valerie Harper, she is courageous..because she is battling terminal brain cancer..to me, she is courageous..staring death in the face and STILL battling..for Collins to be called courageous is a slap in the face to TRULY courageous people
How nice. Give me a contract bonus or you’re a homophobic bigot, you homophobic bigot. I also get to sit around and ogle the guys in the shower room while pleasuring myself. If they have a problem with that, they’re homophobic bigots, too.
Who cares????? He is with the loser wizards so he can’t be much of a basketball player.
Checking out the network news right now, just to see what is being said. Lead story is not about Syria gassing its people. It is not about the Boston terrorist attack that occurred just two weeks ago, or what the FBI knew and when they knew it. No, no, no. The most important thing is this country right now is that Jason Collins is gay. Even Obama had to give him a call.
You mean, if he were Michael Jordan in his prime, somebody might care? Yeah, I suppose so.
He's not even a mid-tier NBA player. He's a back bencher (no pun intended.)
The rest of your statement you're 100% correct on.
At 36 years old, he's considered "at the end of his career." In the best of conditions (think: Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, players of that caliber) there might be one or two years left to play. But a third-string back bench player?
Not gonna happen. This is all about setting up the homophobia/discrimination crap and potential lawsuits going forward. The homo's will idolize this guy despite his not being a star player.
Which one do you think will drive the lane first?
Who'll be first to take it to the hole?
Which will be called first for palming the ball?
I could go on all day ....
“Why not further destroy the Black culture which is already in tatters and further debase the general culture with more even more depravity.”
Oh I knew that would happen..after all, what is more important in this world than some guy who averaged 2 points a game coming out as a fruitcake..and here you have Obama..who didn’t contact the victims families of Benghazi, but he was in a rush to call Sandra Fluke and now Jason Collins because after all, being killed in an act of terrorism doesn’t matter, but coming out as a homo is FAR more important
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.