Show off your holiday lights and you could win an iPad! Enter your photo by December 13. Winner will be selected by popular vote.
Jason Collins shows courage by coming out as gay, and the NBA displays tolerance by embracing him.
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Jason Collins said he didn’t set out to become the first openly gay athlete on a major American professional sports team. But, as the journeyman NBA player wrote for Sports Illustrated this week, “I’m happy to start the conversation.”
If Collins had revealed his sexuality at the beginning of his 12-year career, the disclosure would have sent shock waves through the sports world and might have diminished his earnings potential. That’s why other gay athletes on professional teams had remained closeted until retiring. But when Collins’ first-person article hit the Internet on Monday, players, coaches, league executives and image-conscious shoe sponsor Nike issued unequivocal statements of support. President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton also saluted the athlete.
The initial reaction is a measure of the progress being made in a slow march toward tolerance. But, as Collins wrote, “we still have so much farther to go.”
That’s especially true in professional sports. Earlier this year, a college prospect alleged that a National Football League team asked about his sexuality in an interview at the league’s scouting combine. Several teams reportedly wanted to know whether Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o is gay after he was humiliated in an Internet girlfriend hoax.
Collins made a subtle statement this season by wearing jersey No. 98 while playing for Boston and Washington. The number memorialized the 1998 murder of gay Wyoming college student Matthew Shepard and the founding of the Trevor Project, an organization that provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention to children struggling with sexual identity. But Collins dispensed with subtlety this week, declaring, “I want to do the right thing and not hide anymore.”
“I want to march for tolerance, acceptance and understanding,” Collins wrote. “I want to take a stand and say, ‘Me, too.’ ”
Collins has done that. And all those who look up to the giant of a man will be better for it.
Weather JournalPossible scrape with snow Tues