I don’t follow basketball save to root for the Lakers when I catch them on a TV I’m watching at the gym. (One of my best friends is a fan, so I root for the LA team, knowing their victory will help make her day.)
Until this week, I had never heard of Jason Collins, and assume the 34-year-old center must be a good basketball player, given that he been playing professionally for “12 seasons“, including once “in a Final Four for Stanford and” twice in the “NBA Finals.”
As usual when someone in the public eye out, you can expect overblown rhetoric for the various gay advocacy outfits with Aaron McQuade, the head of GLAAD’s sports program, saying that Collins had put “courage” and “inspiration” into “a brand new context.”
Give me a break. This is not 1973. Or even 1993. Ellen’s coming out may have been big in the 1997, but now men and women, in most fields of endeavor, take it for granted that one of their colleagues is (or might be) gay.
Talking about Collins’s call a few days ago “to share the news with” him, Boston Celtics player and (the Collins’s former) coach said:
When he called me to tell me, you could tell he wanted to tell me. I told him before he said it, ‘Jason I could care less about what you’re about to tell me.’ And that’s how I feel. I honestly feel that way.
It’s a non-factor to me, and I know it is a factor to a lot of people. I’ve never understood why anyone cares what someone else does. And I told Jason that it will be a non-issue eventually, but it will not be right now.
Leave it to an athlete to say it better than a professional gay advocate. It’s not an non-issue now because Collins is the first professional athlete to come up while still playing. But, it should be one. The coach is right to note that no one should really care about an athlete’s sexuality. It’s as irrelevant to his performance as his hair color.
No wonder Bruce Bawer urges Collins to “say no” to the gay outfits who want to make him their “spokesrobot.”* Don’t let him fall into spouting the same kind of bromides as Mr. McQuade offered. (more…)