Let me start off by saying that I am not a huge sports person. I never played it in school and never went to a football game my entire time in high school. I went to a technical college and never knew if they even had sports. I don’t watch them but I do enjoy playing soccer.
But I know the level of homophobia that is in sports. I know that there was a football player that said there were no gay players on his team. So when I saw the breaking news that NBA player Jason Collins (who shares my first name) came out as gay, I knew the historic moment that had just happened.
He makes the first athlete in any national league of sports to come out of the closet while actively playing. His statement was: “I’m a 34 year old NBA center. I’m black. And I’m gay.” A news article from Yahoo said that he was going to come out years ago but the recent bombing in Boston convinced him that now was the perfect time.
Now I did hear a rumor that someone was about to out him and he decided to come out before that could happen. I don’t think that has been confirmed and whether or not it is true, I for one am glad that he did. He broke the barrier and his coming out has been hailed as a landmark day in American civil rights, just as Jackie Robinson (who’s story is being told in the bio-pic “42”) did in baseball.
He has had his share of support, from the President Obama and Mrs. Obama, to one of my favorite celebrities, Ricky Martin, fellow athletes, among a few. But he has also had some negative feedback. Sportswriter Chris Broussard grouped homosexuality with adultery and premarital sex. On “The Talk” today, they mentioned that some well-known sex advisor was worried about the pressure that this would put on other in-the-closet athletes. Personally, I disagree. If anything, it should be encouraging for others to come out.
What are your thoughts? You think that it’s a good or bad thing that he came out? Do you think that there is a scandal that he was trying to avoid?