In an op-ed for Sports Illustrated's website (to appear in the May 6th print edition), Collins pens a first-person account of his journey of self-discovery. An account which begins with the simple declaration, "I'm a 34 year old NBA center. I'm Black. And I'm Gay."
I didn't set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. But since I am, I'm happy to start the conversation. I wish I wasn't the kid in the classroom raising his hand and saying, "I'm different." If I had my way, someone else would have already done this. Nobody has, which is why I'm raising my hand.The response has been largely positive, from the NBA and other athletes, entertainers, and even President Obama, who phoned Collins to express his support. First Lady Michelle Obama tweeted her support with this...
Read More: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/magazine/news/20130429/jason-collins-gay-nba-player/#ixzz2RuDMAVmf
So proud of you, Jason Collins! This is a huge step forward for our country. We’ve got your back! -mo
— FLOTUS (@FLOTUS) April 29, 2013
Of course, the homophobes infesting the human gene-pool had to have their say as well. Miami Dolphins WR Mike Wallace spewed forth this set of tweets which he later deleted (with an apology).
ESPN's Chris Broussard went the tired old "it's not Christian" route, expressing this lament in front of his openly Gay colleague LZ Granderson.
Personally, I don’t believe that you can live an openly homosexual lifestyle or an openly, like premarital sex between heterosexuals. If you’re openly living that type of lifestyle, then the Bible says you know them by their fruits. It says that, you know, that’s a sin. If you’re openly living in unrepentant sin, whatever it may be, not just homosexuality, whatever it maybe, I believe that’s walking in open rebellion to God and to Jesus Christ. So I would not characterize that person as a Christian because I don’t think the bible would characterize them as a Christians.Yeah, because we all know that pro athletes in America are all Christ-like Bible-believing God-fearing Christians.
Then there's the crowd for whom this isn't really an issue. In fact, it's so not an issue that they felt the need to go out of their way to tell us just how "not an issue" it is.
CBS Sportscaster Mike Francesca:
It means less than nothing to me that there is a gay player now out if the NBA. SI going to reveal this this week in—I don’t know why—I guess a dramatic attempt to sell a magazine, I guess.Sirius radio host Chris "Mad Dog" Russo:
I have the story here and I’m not compelled to run and talk about it or read it. I really don’t care. I can’t be any more honest. I don’t care.
I do not care about this Jason Collins story, everyone tells me to discuss it. I could care less about someone's sexuality.The "I don't care" reactions are the ones that I find most interesting. Mostly because it's the one that we in the LGBT community want the most. The truth is that we don't want you to care. We don't want it to be a big deal when someone comes out of the closet, be it in entertainment, sports, politics, or whatever. If you really want to know what the so-called "Gay agenda" is, its the one where announcing that one is Gay receives exactly zero fanfare whatsoever, including telling everyone how much you "don't care." I laugh when I hear statements like, "I don't care what they do, as long as they don't bring it to me." Especially when they come from some 300 pound greasy fat guy who last saw his penis during the Reagan administration. I'd like for these homophobic inbreds to tell me just how we could possibly "bring it" to them, what we would be "bringing", and more importantly...why they're so afraid of it.
— Chris Mad Dog Russo (@MadDogUnleashed) April 29, 2013
Homophobes hate it when you make even the slightest implication that their homophobia could be an indication of perhaps some latent homosexual tendencies, even though they seem to know an awful lot about what Gay people do. I mean, haven't you ever wondered how the late Jerry Falwell was somehow able to identify enough Gay symbolism to make the determination that Tinky-Winky of the Teletubbies was Gay? The average homophobe would swear to you that he would never enter a Gay bar, a Gay club, a Gay bathhouse, etc., yet can tell you precisely what goes on in the alleged "back room" of "those places". They'll claim to not know anyone who's Gay, have no Gay friends or acquaintances, and that absolutely no one in their family is Gay, while being able to describe intimate details of what Gay people do in their bedrooms. They'll swear up down and sideways on a stack of Bibles a mile high that they are absolutely, positively, unequivocally not Gay, yet have more to say about Gays and Gay sex than some of the most horny sex-crazed Gay people I know. With all of this they wonder how anyone could possibly believe that they're Gay, or at the least not very happy about being straight. After all, these people spend such an inordinate amount of time worrying and lamenting over a group of people who they claim they don't know, have never met, don't really care about, and are in their opinion an insignificant minority of the population.
To me, "I don't care" means exactly that. It means you don't write about it, you don't tweet about it, you don't Facebook about it, you don't comment on it, you don't express any reaction whatsoever beyond a genuinely heartfelt "eh", which is exactly the reaction the LGBT community is looking for. Going out of your way to express how much you "don't care" about us Godless homos in a vain effort to hide your homophobia only proves that you really do care more than you're willing to admit, and perhaps reveals something much deeper that you would prefer to keep in the closet. Comedian Bill Maher has a "New Rule" regarding attitudes about homosexuality that is my favorite. Paraphrasing (and hoping I get it right), "If your opinion on homosexuality is any stronger than 'who gives a fuck', you might be gay."
It would seem that the NBA closets aren't the only ones Jason Collins has blown open.