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Jason Collins

29/04/2013

Lets talk about Jason Collins, a Washington Wizards basketball player,  and the fact that he is the first professional athlete to come out openly gay while still an active player and how badly some people are trying to spin it.

Let me be clear,  This IS a big deal and it should be.  For anybody who is active in sports for somebody who has played on 12 different NBA teams to come out paves the way for professional, semi-professional, college, and every other athlete to do the same. It is good because there is a long history of homophobic tendencies in professional sports.  Sometimes its the gay guy in the showers with his other male teammates stigma or its the portrayed erotic fantasy of the all female team making out with each other.  Make no mistake these are both are versions of this.

What Jason Collins has done is incredibly brave and I do not want to down play it all because it really does open up a lot of doors for athletes every where but the spin the media is putting on this is abhorrent.

ESPN is on at work (I work at a cable company, its almost always on at least one of our TV’s because its work friendly) all day today and I have seen one commentator after analyst after journalist after NBA coach/admin say how its no big deal.  They say how they already guessed he was, along with other athletes, and the only concern they see is possibly with younger, less mature players.

Excuse me while I try not to laugh out loud.  Does ESPN live in the same country that I do?  Instead of interviewing people who need to be okay with this because its their job why don’t you interview other players from other teams.  I would be very interested to have ESPN go into the Nick’s or the Laker’s or the Thunder’s locker room and see what other players think;  I have a feeling the rose color of this story will wear off real quickly.

However I hope I am wrong. I really do hope that because athletes have achieved almost god status in the US, and a lot of the world, this will be the final push that starts knocking down all kinds of discrimination bias in the US.  Maybe this will open up a path for all LGBQT* folks to be better accepted for the fact that they are human.  Maybe sports can do a really good thing here.

I know sports are not an often topic for DFTBA News but what do you think; Should ESPN be down-playing or up-playing this more? And should they include interviews with players as well?

~Peeta

*no source article other than ESPN the channel because this has been their on air coverage all day but the Sports Illustrated article that this is all about is here.

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