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NBA Center Jason Collins sets the stage, and a wonderful example, for gay athletes

Apr 29, 2013, 2:11 PM EDT

Jason Collins

It’s not a baseball story, but some sports stories are so significant that we’d be remiss in not noting them. This is one of them: veteran NBA center Jason Collins has come out as gay in a wonderful, eloquent and uplifting Sports Illustrated column. You owe it to yourself to read his words on the matter.

NBA Commissioner David Stern has issued a statement of support, as have multiple NBA coaches and players from Doc Rivers to Kobe Bryant on down. There have already been and will be comments from bigots, homophobes and simple, pathetic provocateurs as well. They’ll be discredited, mocked and ultimately pitied in pretty short and overwhelming order if they haven’t already have been. We’re in a very different world now than even a decade ago, thankfully.

Those folks aside, I’m particularly struck by Stern’s use of the world “family” in his statement. While we all know that sports are a business and a quite often ruthless meritocracy, when it comes to the off-the-field and off-the-court human interactions, it makes eminent sense that people within sports, who know what one another are up against all the time in ways that none of us on the outside ever could, treat one another with the decency of a good, loving and strong family.

Today this is a basketball story. In the coming years this story will inevitably play its way out through football, hockey, soccer and baseball as well. When it does, Collins will be the touchstone, and his brave example and honest words will the ones that set the stage for and provide comfort and guidance to other gay athletes seeking to live their lives and play their sports outside of the closet.

Congratulations to Jason Collins for his bravery, his example, his humor and his class.

123 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. highpowered350 - Apr 29, 2013 at 2:16 PM

    [Comment deleted, commenter banned]

    • DelawarePhilliesFan - Apr 29, 2013 at 2:18 PM

      PFT called, they want you back overe there. So do we

    • DelawarePhilliesFan - Apr 29, 2013 at 2:20 PM

      AND THANK YOU CRAIG!

      • 18thstreet - Apr 29, 2013 at 2:55 PM

        It’s nice to know there are things that merit being banned. Thank you, Craig.

    • jm91rs - Apr 29, 2013 at 3:11 PM

      I’m a little bummed that this got banned before I was able to read it. Must have been pretty bad. Couldn’t be any worse than some of the stuff you link to at the BestFansSt.Louis twitter feed. Most of the followers there are real scum of the earth.

      • jm91rs - Apr 29, 2013 at 3:15 PM

        That said, I certainly support you deleting the comments of biggots, racists, and all around mean spirited people. Keep it up.

      • hojo20 - Apr 29, 2013 at 6:38 PM

        I was probably something ridiculously offensive, like the DH should be in the National League.

    • Kevin S. - Apr 29, 2013 at 3:24 PM

      Bye bye.

    • cur68 - Apr 29, 2013 at 3:52 PM

      Seriously? You chose the handle “whaddafag” and then got on a public chat room and posted MORE gibberish? Are you twelve or are you just severely stupid?

  2. randygnyc - Apr 29, 2013 at 2:18 PM

    Very brave. I’m glad Jason felt comfortable in his own skin enough to feel he should do this. Everyone deserves to be treated equally in this world. My only objection is why does this have to be a topic in the workplace? Anyway, I wish Jason all the best and would love to see him sign with a team for next year.

  3. heyblueyoustink - Apr 29, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    ^Douchebag.

    • heyblueyoustink - Apr 29, 2013 at 2:30 PM

      Not @ you Randy, the guy at the top who got deleted. the servers are slow here today.

      • randygnyc - Apr 29, 2013 at 3:22 PM

        Heyblue- I agree. Douchebag comment and I knew yours wasn’t directed towards me. Looks like he’s back, now, too.

  4. tfbuckfutter - Apr 29, 2013 at 2:23 PM

    I still don’t understand how no one noticed him in the locker room or showers, in TWELVE YEARS, masturbating furiously and trying to rape all of the other sexy men in there.

    It makes no sense. Everyone knows gay men can’t control themselves and that’s why they won’t be welcomed in the locker room….because of the constant masturbating and rapes.

    • darthicarus - Apr 29, 2013 at 2:26 PM

      Even with my sarcasm meter turned to 11 I didn’t even think of chuckling at this, sorry your attempted humor didn’t quite work with this story.

      • cur68 - Apr 29, 2013 at 2:31 PM

        Given some of the statements made here over the past few months which directly indicates precisely what tfbuck is saying (only without the obvious sarcasm), I’m going to take the opposite stance of yours, darth.

        /golf clap, tfb. Well played, sir.

    • heyblueyoustink - Apr 29, 2013 at 2:29 PM

      You know what, chief, if any of that was serious, Jason Collins is a happier man today than you will ever be, you miserable prick. Go back under the bridge from which you came.

      • tfbuckfutter - Apr 29, 2013 at 2:32 PM

        It’s not serious.

        That’s the point.

        That is the only argument mouthbreathers have presented as to why gays won’t work in sports. Because they can’t control themselves around naked men.

      • blacksables - Apr 29, 2013 at 2:34 PM

        I believe the word of the day is ‘tolerance’.

        While attempting to show yours, try showing it to everyone, even to those who disagree with your opinion.

      • historiophiliac - Apr 29, 2013 at 2:39 PM

        You made me blue, blue. :( tfb is joking.

      • heyblueyoustink - Apr 29, 2013 at 2:50 PM

        Well, then you should look up the meaning of the word “tact” , genius. You made a Bicepts like comment, whether that was your intention or not.

        There’s a difference between tolerance and pointing out uncreative, overly graphic anything.

        And Historio, no sad faces. There’s no crying on HBT! :-)

      • historiophiliac - Apr 29, 2013 at 3:06 PM

        Well, your other option is HBPiD….so, do you want me to cry or what?

        I have to stand up for my buddy. It’s fun on weekends to drink and play w/ tbf’s OCD.

      • heyblueyoustink - Apr 29, 2013 at 3:59 PM

        Well, if you really must, no crying, so…….HBPiD, but only if I wear a cup!

        And a simple “/s” would have spared your buddy my more outspoken side. Many moons ago, at the age of 16, one of my best friends at the time came out. To this day his father still does not talk to him, his mother barely, and needless to say junior and senior year of highschool can be filled with cruelties as is.

        I watched him soldier through some shit, so, much like you with the coffee burn, this is a hypersensitive topic for me on a personal level.

      • historiophiliac - Apr 29, 2013 at 4:35 PM

        Understandable. I just kinda expected you to know the source since he’s a regular commenter. Like mine, you should probably always read his comments w/ the /s on.

      • tfbuckfutter - Apr 29, 2013 at 4:50 PM

        Tact?

        TACT?

        That was a sledge-hammer to the face….and some people STILL weren’t sure that it was sarcasm.

        I hardly ever use subtlety online when it comes to sarcasm because I hate knowing that 50% of the likes don’t actually get that I’m mocking them, and actually think I’m making a point they agree with.

    • cur68 - Apr 29, 2013 at 2:33 PM

      Y’all need to use my Sarcasm Font™ for this sort of thing, tfb. Only $69.69 (no personal cheques).

      • historiophiliac - Apr 29, 2013 at 2:38 PM

        This is one of those Canadian internet scams. You only have to put “/s” at the end and it’s free (like America!).

      • cur68 - Apr 29, 2013 at 2:42 PM

        Hey! I am Canadian Royal Prince! I just need a few bucks till my inheritance comes in, then I’ll be ready to stage a coup and will reward all those who were loyal to me. Do you want to be on the protected lists or not? If so, its $69.69. And no personal cheques! (I’ll throw in a free Sarcasm Font™ package with it, but only this once).

      • chacochicken - Apr 29, 2013 at 2:54 PM

        I thought Canada was an autonomous collective…Are you anything like Brian, the Prime Minister of New Zealand?

      • cur68 - Apr 29, 2013 at 2:57 PM

        Autonomous Collective? What pinko rubbish it this? And do not speak to me of that poseur Brian. He is but a canoodler of sheep.

      • historiophiliac - Apr 29, 2013 at 3:01 PM

        BTW, did you see that nice little burn Jon Stewart gave y’all last week? That was a nice one.

      • kiwicricket - Apr 29, 2013 at 8:42 PM

        Hey!

    • historiophiliac - Apr 29, 2013 at 2:42 PM

      Now you can start playing 6 Degrees of Jason Collins!

      • tfbuckfutter - Apr 29, 2013 at 4:52 PM

        I can only connect him to Kerry Rhodes.

        /Subtle

      • historiophiliac - Apr 29, 2013 at 4:55 PM

        You know you lose me when you’re not talking baseball…

    • El Bravo - Apr 29, 2013 at 3:31 PM

      anyone who doesn’t laugh at this is a terribly humorless person. good work, tfbuckfutter.

    • indaburg - Apr 29, 2013 at 4:51 PM

      I know, right?

  5. Rich Stowe - Apr 29, 2013 at 2:27 PM

    He broke down a barrier that I’m sure many others will follow him through in the future

    http://sportsunbiased.com/nba/5729/jason-collins-comes-out-and-makes-history/

  6. wonkypenguin - Apr 29, 2013 at 2:27 PM

    As a gay woman and avid sports fan, I appreciate his honesty. To have someone to look to as an example of athletic success and open sexuality is huge for youth who may be struggling with their own. Kudos to Jason. And thanks for posting it, Craig. I appreciate it.

    • historiophiliac - Apr 29, 2013 at 3:13 PM

      I’d like to add that it’s nice to have some commenters come out on here lately.

    • indaburg - Apr 29, 2013 at 5:00 PM

      I completely agree with ‘philiac. Than you for sharing with us. My younger sister is a lesbian who came out two years ago. We fight about a lot of stuff, as sisters do, but one thing I have so much admiration for is her courage in coming out. I can’t imagine how painful it must have been all those years, to hide her true self from us. I wish she could have had a good role model to guide her growing up so she wouldn’t have been scared. I felt so bad, stll do–I was her big sister, I protected her. I could understand her keeping it from my mom who is socially conservative, but from me? She knew I woudn’t care and that she’ll always be my pain in the ass younger sister. I guess she thought I’d slip up and tell mom, but anyhow. I’m glad to see the openness spreading here too.

  7. hittfamily - Apr 29, 2013 at 2:32 PM

    Very brave. The African American Community seems to be less open to accept homosexuals. I’m sure there will be some backlash. This is a courageous man. At the same time, most people aren’t bigots, so I hope he is shown the respect he deserves.

    The floodgates have begun to open. Open them up wide closeted athletes! Our LGBT youth have the courage to come out. Jason Collins has the courage to come out. More need to come out as well.

    • tfbuckfutter - Apr 29, 2013 at 4:56 PM

      The African American community’s attitude toward LGBT issues is something I find truly maddening.

      Years and years of bullying, marginalizing, and abuse….and at the first opportunity, they turn around and do it to another minority.

      I find it really disappointing coming from a group that should actually identify instead of abuse.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Apr 29, 2013 at 5:09 PM

        Could it be a case of the vocal majority shouting down the silent minority? A lot that I’ve seen involves religion, which isn’t exactly that accepting of alternative lifestyles. I’m just not comfortable making a broad based claim across an entire race though.

      • tfbuckfutter - Apr 29, 2013 at 5:20 PM

        That’s valid….the thing is, African-American culture has deep roots in the bible belt (you know, the people who hung onto them as property the longest….even fighting for the right to continue doing so)….so yes, it is religiously based….and this statement isn’t about race it’s about the bible belt (because it applies to equally to whites)….there is nothing funnier than someone with a bunch of out-of-wedlock kids (who are all half-siblings), or a rap sheet for assault and/or stealing, screaming about gays being against the Bible.

        Which is why it is kind of funny that the source of the prejudice is based in religion, but is still spread amongst the inner-city culture of the north and west as well. Because it is part of their heritage.

      • historiophiliac - Apr 29, 2013 at 5:35 PM

        I feel the same way about women sometimes. Many white women used to contend that they deserved the vote if black men had it, due to their racial superiority. Also, you’d think that women, who come from a historically disadvantaged group, would certainly appreciate the need for gay rights. It doesn’t always happen that people with experience in discrimination support anti-discrimination.

      • tfbuckfutter - Apr 29, 2013 at 5:45 PM

        This doesn’t speak entirely to your comments historio, but I recall analyzing a short story in college…..we had to group up and take different perspectives on it….it was about a black guy’s day (set in maybe the 40s….) and how he is verbally abused by his white boss and co-workers, verbally abused by a white woman (at work, on the street, in a store, I don’t recall) then when he gets home and his wife calls him the n-word he beats the crap out of her.

        The group taking the racial stance was saying he was frustrated by the abuse he felt at the hand of the white man, and took it out on his wife…..our point, from the gender perspective, was that clearly the ladder went white man – white woman – black man – black woman….thus, the female is still on the bottom run, so while there is a racial line, the female is still inferior inside the racial lines (which I think kind of demonstrates what you are getting at).

      • hittfamily - Apr 29, 2013 at 6:12 PM

        I volunteered for the Obama campaign, and went and knocked on doors. I would hand out a pamphlet on how he wanted people to vote on certain amendments to the Fla constitution. One had something to do with gay marriage, or gay rights of sort. Several African Ams said, “Oh gross” and ” No way” etc when they looked it over. Same thing in California, which is why a Dem became governor, and they overwhelming voted Obama, but prop 8 still passed. I don’t know why they feel the way they do, but it isn’t just the majority shouting over the minority. The minority accepts gays. The majority doesn’t.

      • Kevin S. - Apr 29, 2013 at 6:17 PM

        IIRC, Prop 8 passed because of a fantastic misinformation campaign. There were tons of stories about no-voters who thought that if it failed, there churches would be forced to bless gay marriages and other such nonsense. Also, public opinion has moved very swiftly in the past four and a half years. A small but significant majority of Americans back SSM now, and there’s no way in hell Prop 8 passes today.

      • tfbuckfutter - Apr 29, 2013 at 6:38 PM

        “I would hand out a pamphlet on how he wanted people to vote on certain amendments to the Fla constitution.”

        That must have been a short pamphlet.

        “No on everything….in fact, in general, anything the legislature in Florida wants to do is shady and a bad idea so always default to ‘no’”

        And as for Prop 8….a record number of African American voters turned out to vote, and they voted overwhelmingly for that proposition, which is why it narrowly passed. Had they turned out at typical rates, the measure would have been defeated.

        Plus the Mormon church was heavily involved in disseminating hate in that situation too.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Apr 29, 2013 at 7:15 PM

        there is nothing funnier than someone with a bunch of out-of-wedlock kids (who are all half-siblings), or a rap sheet for assault and/or stealing, screaming about gays being against the Bible.

        I agree, which is why i wondered if it’s the vocal minority or do many feel this way (disclosure, I live in NC, about 20m north of charlotte). I just can’t understand a group of people who use a book as an excuse to subjugate a group of people, well when:

      • tfbuckfutter - Apr 29, 2013 at 7:46 PM

        church, I believe it is the overriding opinion of the majority of the AA community.

        From the frail but truly religious elderly to the macho manly youth.

        Hell, just look at the athletes who have been in trouble for saying negative things about homosexuality. The vast majority of them have been black or Hispanic (Catholicism dominated homelands).

        That’s not to say whites are better than either group, because I also live in the south and see it everywhere….but the vast majority of the whites who have a problem with homosexuality reside in areas dominated by religion.

        So it is all based in religion….just different fingers of it.

  8. ryand17 - Apr 29, 2013 at 2:34 PM

    Fantastic story and an eloquent and heartfelt article. Thank you Jason Collins for your courage to move our society forward.

  9. normcash - Apr 29, 2013 at 2:38 PM

    Not sure what “highpowered350″ wrote, as the comment was deleted by the time I read this post,
    but I assume he encapsulated Craig’s prediction about “bigots, homophobes and simple, pathetic
    provocateurs”….

    • DelawarePhilliesFan - Apr 29, 2013 at 2:43 PM

      Yes, you are basically correct. He asked a “question” that was childish, vile, and massively inappropriate language wise

  10. historiophiliac - Apr 29, 2013 at 2:40 PM

    That was awesome.

  11. dadawg77 - Apr 29, 2013 at 2:48 PM

    The biggest issue is Collins will be an UFA, who isn’t that good. He has more fouls than points. Thus while he can help from the end the bench, teams may want to use that spot for developing a younger players. So if he doesn’t get a contract, there is potential that others will just assume sports are filled with the examples above and be a major set back. Jackie Robinson broke the barrier at his peak age range, thus could play great ball before his skills receded.

    • kollin7 - Apr 29, 2013 at 3:16 PM

      Yes I was thinking of this as well. I hope (and it pains me deeply to say this) that he retires. Because at this stage of his career it will be hard for him to find a team this off-season. And it will seem like professional sports is ridden with homo-phobes. And with the support I saw today around the pro sports world, I would say that’s inaccurate.

      • dadawg77 - Apr 29, 2013 at 7:08 PM

        He should do what he wants. Guessing that will be to stay in the NBA as long as someone wants him, as that would be what I would do. My worry is if the meritocracy of sports prevents him from playing in the NBA again, that people read it as he was blackballed. If he feels he has to retire because he came out, its the same outcome.

        He might stay in the league as big men can stay well past their prime since you can’t teach height. He is as productive as Juwan Howard is.

    • Kevin S. - Apr 29, 2013 at 3:22 PM

      He’s still a quality post defender. I think he’s still got a spot in this league, especially on a team that sees Brooklyn, Memphis, San Antonio or wherever Dwight Howard winds up as a major obstacle.

    • koufaxmitzvah - Apr 29, 2013 at 4:01 PM

      There’s something to be said about marketing. A J. Collins jersey is bound to sell.

  12. Detroit Michael - Apr 29, 2013 at 2:53 PM

    Hopefully, we’ll have some athletes in the other major pro sports come out of the closet too so we can quickly get this issue behind us. On the other hand, it’s up to each of them whether they want to go public with something that really isn’t anyone else’s business.

  13. jaysfan64 - Apr 29, 2013 at 2:58 PM

    No, the biggest issue is that Collins has tossed a huge weight off his back, and good for him, too…what he’s done took guts and bravery.. my hat’s off to him…

    • dadawg77 - Apr 29, 2013 at 7:38 PM

      For him, yes. However, while society is moving at a great pace towards acceptance, organizations like the Trevor project are still needed. So if people think that if Collins doesn’t get a contract means less acceptance then it can have a dreadful impact. Ask yourself, how much Civil Rights movement would have been set back if Jackie failed and didn’t change people perceptions? Then again maybe the public shaming of the examples above, could help show people there is acceptance.

      I am not saying he should have not come out nor taking anything away from him as a person.

  14. louhudson23 - Apr 29, 2013 at 3:04 PM

    tbf and his(sarcasm laced ) comment calls to mind the days when light-skinned black folks would “pass” themselves off as white in our Jim Crow world. This would work until they were found out and they were suddenly no longer qualified and fired from their jobs,no longer smart enough and kicked out of their schools ,no longer fit to live with and evicted from their homes. The point being,they were no different the day before than the day after……only their label had changed,and all the ignorance and hatefulness that accompanied it. I can think of nothing which better pointed out the lie of racial bigotry than this idiocy. Same for Mr. Collins and any and all gay people. Human yesterday,human tomorrow…..Jason Collins is the same man,player,teammate,friend that he was yesterday…….Which gives lie to the idiocy that gay folks can’t fit and don’t belong…..They have been here since the beginning and they will be here tomorrow….playing our games,flying our planes,teaching our children,healing our wounds,being our brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles,our co-workers,our employees,our policemen,firemen and sailors and Marines……..I know he feels his humanity in a whole new way today….good for him….walk tall,be proud….no more “passing”….

  15. mrbullgator - Apr 29, 2013 at 3:08 PM

    I wonder when the first non gay player will come out? That’s the problem I see, is everyone making a big deal but really who cares, keep your personal details to your life personal. Or does everyone just assume all athletes are straight?

    • Liam - Apr 29, 2013 at 3:11 PM

      The first non gay player came out long ago, when he appeared in public with his wife sometime during the 19th century.

      • bigleagues - Apr 29, 2013 at 3:33 PM

        Succinct and on point.

      • mrbullgator - Apr 29, 2013 at 3:36 PM

        So there has never been a gay person who tried to cover up the fact they were gay by getting married and/or making appearances with the opposite sex?

      • Liam - Apr 29, 2013 at 4:01 PM

        Of course they have, but every single straight athlete who has ever appeared with his wife/girlfriend has been coming out as a straight male. They have not kept their personal lives personal, but no one criticized them for that. Maybe Collins didn’t need an SI cover to do this (although he’d have my support with whatever method he chose), but making this announcement now allows him to share his personal life in a way thousands of other professional athletes have done without your criticism.

    • El Bravo - Apr 29, 2013 at 3:36 PM

      mrbullgator, somewhere out there, out of your reach, and out of your field of view, is the point that you missed.

      • mrbullgator - Apr 29, 2013 at 3:46 PM

        No my point is that society feels we owe it to accept gays. I personally do not care if someone is gay or not but I don’t think we “need” athletes to come out and tell us their sexual preferences. This also has set the stage for writers to ridicule a team when they pass on him, seeing how he waited until the twilight of his career to come out.

      • El Bravo - Apr 29, 2013 at 3:52 PM

        Gays have been discriminated against for as long as we have had a society. That’s why we do owe it to them, and everyone in our society really, to show a greater level of acceptance when they decide FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER to be open about it publicly while playing on a professional sports team.

      • hittfamily - Apr 29, 2013 at 3:58 PM

        If you or one of your children were gay, perhaps you would see things differently. It is hard to be the first to do anything that you may not be accepted for. He is setting himself up to be mocked, ridiculed, and subjected to hate speach by bigots in our society. He is making it “a little more ok” to be different, that so many of our society deals with. My son, your son, your daughter will see how accepting he is of himself, and by society, and hopefully that will make their life easier to deal with, if they happened to be gay.

        The man is a hero. He is making his life tougher, to make other’s easier.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Apr 29, 2013 at 3:54 PM

      You really are missing the point. Don’t you realize that many of the comments bigots use to try and keep gays in the closet were also used against African Americans 50-60 years ago to keep them out of sports? That teammates wouldn’t like it, it was unnatural, that their religion forbade it? Or to put it a better way, fast forward to 1:00

    • CliffC - Apr 29, 2013 at 3:54 PM

      So how about we just let everyone get married, that way they can announce they are gay like straight people announce they are straight, by getting married. It will be much easier that way.

    • paperlions - Apr 29, 2013 at 4:18 PM

      Since you appear to not understand the basis, allow me to explain. When you’ve never been made to feel like you have to hide who you are for your own safety in lieu of ridicule, ostracism, bias, hate, and violence, then it is not possible to “come out” about an aspect of your life.

    • indaburg - Apr 29, 2013 at 5:04 PM

      I can’t wait for the day when it doesn’t matter. Unfortunately, we are not there yet. Consider yourself lucky that you can live openly, freely, and without fear of violence just for your sexual identity.

      • historiophiliac - Apr 29, 2013 at 5:41 PM

        The funny thing is that the people who say such things are often the same people who freak out if they just see two people of the same sex holding hands or something.

  16. jm91rs - Apr 29, 2013 at 3:09 PM

    This is great to see. I’m sure there will be players using the f-word when trash talking this guy, as I’m sure some will not support him. Luckily thanks to the super sensitive mics and cameras everywhere, we’ll know pretty quickly who says that and the court of public opinion will make it very clear how unacceptable it all is.

    I still think a guy coming out in football is going to be the bigger deal, since it’s always been viewed as the tough guy sport. Jason Collins just made that a little easier for whoever decides to let their sexuality be known next.

  17. bronxbomber213 - Apr 29, 2013 at 3:37 PM

    I think it’s funny how Craig credits Kobe with supporting him yet he or in trouble last year for calling a ref a “bundle of sticks” and I’m almost positive Craig was calling him a small minded man who doesn’t understand the reprocussions of his words and actions bla bla bla…oh but it makes his story better now cuz Kobe is a top tier player so it’s all good now…doesn’t pass the giggle test of logic

    • paperlions - Apr 29, 2013 at 4:20 PM

      People change. That’s allowed, right. (I hate you for making me defend Kobe.)

    • Craig Calcaterra - Apr 29, 2013 at 4:22 PM

      You don’t think it’s MORE notable when someone with a checkered past on such issues does an about-face?

      • bronxbomber213 - Apr 29, 2013 at 4:41 PM

        I thinks it’s more hypocritical than anything honeslty…but that’s cool now he’s ur boy til he’s caught calling another ref a queer or something..then we can have another post about it..basically what I’m hearing is he was a bigot and homophobe but now all of the sudden had an epiphany and he’s not…seems to me u forgot about that little incident when u were writing this

      • bronxbomber213 - Apr 29, 2013 at 4:44 PM

        I’m honored to provoke a response from the king of HBT tho as a side note!!

      • seattlej - Apr 29, 2013 at 6:56 PM

        On a different side note, you make a mockery of the English language.

      • bigleagues - May 1, 2013 at 11:39 PM

        I’m consistent in my application of counter-culture logic – so here is my response to your silly absolutist logic fail:

        We lose sight that they’re “JUST WORDS”.

        “Faggot” is JUST A WORD. What gives it meaning is the intent or context behind it.

        Long before the word gained a negative connotation here in the US, it was and remains UK slang for cigarettes.

        The way we use words in the heat of the moment often has little to do with inflicting emotional distress on the other person and more to do with our own selfish need to vocalize words with sharp definitive syllables that make an auditory impact.

        “F**k”
        “S**t”
        “G**dammit”
        “C**t”
        “F**g*t”

        I doubt that Kobe knew that referee’s sexual orientation or even cared about it when he demonstratively directed the phrase “f**cking f**got” at that ref. It was an unfortunate way to demonstrate his exasperation. Nothing more, nothing less.

        And while I understand why the NBA needs to be hyper-sensitive and throw a blanket over using any words or phrases that can be construed as racist, homophobic and bigoted …. I refuse to make the simpleminded “corporate-like” assumption that Kobe made that statement THUS he must be a homo-phobe.

        Maybe its just the nature of this modern day Politically Correct linguistic pussyfootin’ we do these days, but Kobe blurting “f**kin f**got” out of frustration at a ref in the middle of a game does not even sniff at Tim Hardaway’s monumentally idiotic “I hate gay people” statement.

        And yet, despite each statement being within strikingly different contexts – inexplicably, many of us DO view them as equal statements.

        We all at one time or another have made unfortunate comments. 99.999% of those instances are eventually lost into the ether for good. However, When bad comments happen on TV or radio they are amplified and preserved in the public domain for life AND we automatically assume we know exactly what the “offending” person’s intent is or was.

        Listen, I’m a Celtics fan. I hate just about everything about Kobe. But something tells me that Kobe’s desire to have someone like Chris Paul play on his team wouldn’t be diminished one iota if Paul also happened to be gay.

        That you dredged up and seek to juxtapose that 2011 Kobe comment against his support for Collins, only makes your ignorance come across louder and clearer.

  18. newpairofsox - Apr 29, 2013 at 3:42 PM

    Very brave and long overdue. Hats off to him for such courage. Thank you, Craig, for posting.

  19. bigleagues - Apr 29, 2013 at 3:43 PM

    I am elated to see that the former teammates, coaches, Kobe, and the NBA have lined up behind Jason Collins – that is, in a totally non-sexual, supportive way ♡☺⚣ ☻♡

    In all seriousness one topic that will emerge from this discussion on some level is the status of Gay Blacks within their own ethnicity. My understanding and knowledge of it suggests that it remains quite hostile, which with the support of the NBA, Kobe and others of Jason Collins will hopefully begin to change.

    ☮ Finally, if you don’t like us counter-culture modern-day hippies, TFB, cuz, we’re stealth and we’re winning. ☮

    • bronxbomber213 - Apr 29, 2013 at 3:50 PM

      u mean Kobe who called a ref a “Faggot” what now he’s ur boy?!? u people make no sense

      • billybawl - Apr 29, 2013 at 4:18 PM

        Kobe was absolutely wrong to use that slur, and deserved the backlash he received. He’s also to be commended for coming forward to support Collins. Arguably, it’s an even bigger deal coming from Kobe than from, say, Steve Nash.

      • sportsdrenched - Apr 29, 2013 at 5:22 PM

        I’ve changed my mind on a lot of things after having new experiences or learning new information.

        While we can be people can be vicious at times…we all have the ability to learn from our mistakes and have a change of heart. That doesn’t make us a hypocrite, that makes us human.

  20. muskyhunter2542 - Apr 29, 2013 at 4:34 PM

    I am a straight man, I have only crossed paths with a few gay people. However, I think that he should be looked at as a modern day Jackie Robinson. What this guy is doing is nothing different then what Jackie Robinson did for the black athlete.
    I hope that he gets the credit he deserves for what he has done. I dont expect everyone in the NBA to were his number like MLB does for Jackie Robinson. However, I think in todays society he should be looked at in that light.

  21. muskyhunter2542 - Apr 29, 2013 at 4:36 PM

    I meant wear. Not were. I have no idea where that came from. Sorry

  22. Walk - Apr 29, 2013 at 4:38 PM

    Not many firsts left and the people that tend to be first are usually exceptional. Looking at this story it easy to see that courage and resolve are not in short supply.

  23. missthedayswhenwedidnthavetologin - Apr 29, 2013 at 4:43 PM

    Lol I just KNEW this guy was gonna bring this up somehow on this blog.

  24. indaburg - Apr 29, 2013 at 5:06 PM

    I got your back, Mr. Collins.

    • historiophiliac - Apr 29, 2013 at 5:43 PM

      You mean the back of his calves, right? I think there’s a height difference. lol

      • indaburg - Apr 29, 2013 at 6:13 PM

        LOL Maybe his knees. I’m not THAT short.

        Figuratively, smart ass. :-)

  25. Old Gator - Apr 29, 2013 at 5:14 PM

    I’m thrilled that Collins finally broke the barrier and came out. It’s a big day for decency, tolerance and self-respect – and a bad day for knuckledraggers, religious fundamentalists and other pre-vertebral life forms. Also kudos to Nick Swisher for being apparently the first MLB pro to voice his support. Hope there’ll be many more.

    And I understand why it’s taken so long. I wasn’t able to come out as a recovering necrophiliac until me ex-wife remarried. I was afraid to do anything that would scare her boyfriend away and jeopardize getting me off the alimony hook.

    • historiophiliac - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:49 PM

      Leave Tommy alone!

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