Jason Collins Is Gay…Now, Let’s Move Along! [OPINION]
The sports world was turned on it’s collective ear yesterday, and the general news and social media today, regarding Jason Collins “coming out” as a gay man in a new Sports Illustrated issue. Make that a “black, gay man,” as if that makes it any more newsworthy.
A man in the sports spotlight announces he’s gay, and this is what the nation is talking about?
Don’t get me wrong, I totally respect Jason Collins for what he did. He said he was waiting for someone else to make an announcement like his, and they never did, so he decided to do it. Good for him. He likes other guys…does that make him a better or worse basketball player, much less a better or worse person?
I have no problem with gay or lesbian lifestyles. My question is: “Why is it such a big deal?” Are we living in a time in our society that someone announcing their sexual preference is “news?” What if he announced he was ordered to undertake a gluten-free diet, hated anything to do with foreign cars, despised the taste of apple pie, or, being a black man, had always had a soft spot in his heart for interracial relationships? Would that have gotten such a response?
Someone in the media likened this to be as big an announcement in sports as Jackie Robinson being the first African-American to play baseball. Really? Someone in a commentary on ESPN talked about how his lifestyle is a sin, and he should be ashamed to make the announcement. Who is some guy on ESPN to judge Collins? Are we not all subject to judgment from a much higher power than a sports commentator someday?
As I write my comments, I know I’m doing exactly what I’m discouraging, making a big deal out of this, but I just simply refuse to believe that in our world today, facing all the problems and issues we face, that we have time and effort to worry about a professional athlete being the first in four major athletic leagues to openly announce he is gay. Why does this matter to us? Is he now less of a role model for kids to look up to as a professional athlete just because he prefers the same sex? Would we be as shocked if he was a ballet dancer?
My opinion, short and sweet: We need to grow up as a society, stop pointing fingers and looking down our noses at what we don’t understand and consider “normal,” and worry more about loving and respecting each other as human beings.
Now, move on…there’s nothing more to see here.