Professional Basketball Player Jason Collins Declares “I’m Gay”


NBA basketball player, Jason Collins has become the first American Pro Athlete still playing, to announce he’s gay, thereby claiming a place in history.  It’s an announcement that was not unexpected.  If not Collins, another athlete would have come out.  It certainly requires inner strength to make such a declaration, which is why there is uncertainty as to whether this will lead to other gay athletes joining him.  Fellow teammates are most likely to be supportive, particularly because Collins is so well liked and respected, but there will unquestionably be those who will not support him.  Many athletes come from the streets where being openly gay is just not acceptable.  The majority of fans will be supportive. Collins came out in a well written Sports Illustrated article citing many reasons for his decision including being tired of living a lie and the Boston bombing.  His announcement, although important in its context is not, nor should it be, earth shattering.  Is there anyone who believed there aren’t gay athletes.  I remember when I first heard Johnny Bench might be gay.  It didn’t take away from the fact he was, in my opinion, the greatest catcher to ever play the game and he remained a fan favorite.  Some day, people will look back and question what the fuss was about.  After all, when more athletes come out and gay marriage is legal nationwide, nothing will change for all those people out there, horrified at the thought. The earth will continue to rotate on its axis and the sun will continue to rise and set as it always had.  In fact, the only reason his announcement has significance, is it gives gay young people a strong, gay athlete, with whom they can identify. No one should have to live a life in denial or seclusion.  That being said, it bares no more relevance to the sporting world to the average fan, than the fact Wilt Chamberlain slept with 15,000 women.  Who Cares?  Fans just want to get back to watching sports.  What’s so ironic is sexuality is the lowest human common denominator. Unlike professional sports, sex is the only thing on earth that every single person can do regardless of skill level, intelligence or financial resources.  Richest to poorest, smartest to dumbest, everyone can have sex.  So I for one hope all gay athletes come out on the same day so we can move on to the only thing about professional sports that really matters; passing, pitching, shooting and checking.

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