Not more than a few days ago NBA center Jason Collins became the first active player in any of the big 4 major league sports to be openly gay while an active player. No one else in the NBA, NFL, NHL, or MLB has come out during their active career. It has only been during their retirement from the game that they have come out and said, yeah, I was a gay athlete. So why did Jason Collins do it?
I mean being gay isn’t really a big deal anymore. We have been so super exposed to the open sexuality of every single person, straigt, gay, or other that it is almost common place now. No one gives a crap. Look, I may not agree with your lifestyle, at the same time I am not interested in your sexuality or your sex life no matter what your persuasion. The same goes for most people, they would prefer you keep it to yourself. Most individuals don’t go around announcing their straightness, they just are. The same goes for a lot of the homosexuals I know, they just are, it just is and meh. I have no beef, so why don’t more athletes come out of the closet? Surely among the major sports there is more than just one gay athlete. Being gay no longer carries a stigma with it as it did even ten years ago in today’s modern society.
Maybe there is a stigma, right or wrong, who knows, with being gay in a physically demanding sport. I honestly don’t know of anything more demanding than the military personally and they removed the “don’t ask, don’t tell policy.” So why is it different for sports and why did he do it? Let’s face it, this coming out of the closet will rate him an asterisk in the sports and history books, but it isn’t going to make him Texas Western or Jackie Robinson or Alice Paul. This is merely a footnote in American Professional Sports and really not that big of deal at all.
I mean congratulations to him for embracing who he is and coming out in the national spotlight, but what does this benefit Jason Collins. He is not a rookie, he is not even a real journeyman. He is a seven-foot tall center who has had a twelve year career with six different teams. Five of those teams he had been on in the last six years, including two teams this season. He has played only 713 of the 952 games over that stretch of time and has only started 475 of those games. His career numbers for a guy who averages 20 minutes a game, or just less than half a game, is an anemic 3.6 points, 3.8 rebounds and half a block. Clearly Jason Collins is at the end of his career. A fairly mediocre career at that and maybe he would like that career to go on just a bit longer.
Maybe, just maybe , he came out because he thought it was important. Then again, maybe he came out because of the media infatuation with homosexuality and “equality” and fairness, and turning little things into big news. Maybe this was the right move for Mr. Collins because it will get him one or two more seasons playing. He is a professional athlete and he probably wants to stay a professional athlete, but who wants a 34-year-old NBA center who averages less than 4 and 4 for 20 minutes a game. He is a garbage time player at best and he will almost certainly be signed to a team next year, just because of his ground breaking status as the first openly gay athlete in sports. No team wants to be the team that didn’t sign him when it had the room, it would look like they were doing it because of his sexuality now, not because of his lack of production. Then again, I have never been a world-class athlete and applaud all of the players with the talent to make it to professional sports, they are among rarefied air as there are so few of them active.
So he will probably have a job next year because of his, now overt, sexuality. Good for him.