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"I'm a 34-year-old NBA center. I'm black. And I'm gay."
April 29, 2013 8:20 AM   Subscribe

Jason Collins, a veteran NBA center currently playing for the Washington Wizards, is now the first active player in major league American sports to openly declare he is gay.
posted by mightygodking (224 comments total) 61 users marked this as a favorite

 
Awesome.
posted by nathancaswell at 8:21 AM on April 29, 2013


YAY!
posted by tittergrrl at 8:23 AM on April 29, 2013


I can't even begin to understand the pressure on someone like Mr Collins. The amount of strength it took to do this -- even after so many years -- is astounding, and I hope that it represents the first crack in the wall of professional sports. I'm damn proud to have him playing for the Wizards. These words are words that every kid needs to hear:
No one wants to live in fear. I've always been scared of saying the wrong thing. I don't sleep well. I never have. But each time I tell another person, I feel stronger and sleep a little more soundly. It takes an enormous amount of energy to guard such a big secret. I've endured years of misery and gone to enormous lengths to live a lie. I was certain that my world would fall apart if anyone knew. And yet when I acknowledged my sexuality I felt whole for the first time. I still had the same sense of humor, I still had the same mannerisms and my friends still had my back.
posted by petrilli at 8:25 AM on April 29, 2013 [30 favorites]


No one wants to live in fear.

Ain't that the truth. Well done, eloquent and brave. Thank you, sir, for dragging basketball into 2013.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:26 AM on April 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


!
posted by drezdn at 8:27 AM on April 29, 2013


jinx! this is a wonderful article and everyone should read it.
posted by nadawi at 8:27 AM on April 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Wait... he's black?!
posted by 2bucksplus at 8:29 AM on April 29, 2013 [22 favorites]


This makes me SO HAPPY!
posted by Mizu at 8:29 AM on April 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


YES!
posted by zombieflanders at 8:30 AM on April 29, 2013


Good for Collins, good for sports, good for all of us!
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:31 AM on April 29, 2013


Can't wait until this isn't news. I've loved seeing the progress in the entertainment industry from Ellen's Time Cover to Jim Parson's and Zachary Quinto's revelation being almost an afterthought paragraphs deep into the first articles that mentioned it.

But this is a big step--Mr Collins made my day!
posted by sexymofo at 8:31 AM on April 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


Openness may not completely disarm prejudice, but it's a good place to start. It all comes down to education. I'll sit down with any player who's uneasy about my coming out. Being gay is not a choice. This is the tough road and at times the lonely road. Former players like Tim Hardaway, who said "I hate gay people" (and then became a supporter of gay rights), fuel homophobia. Tim is an adult. He's entitled to his opinion. God bless America. Still, if I'm up against an intolerant player, I'll set a pretty hard pick on him. And then move on.

The most you can do is stand up for what you believe in. I'm much happier since coming out to my friends and family. Being genuine and honest makes me happy.
This is fantastic.

In the non-fantastic department: Pop-up comments. What the hell?
posted by zamboni at 8:32 AM on April 29, 2013 [6 favorites]


History.

I'll be fascinated to see if this breaks a dam, with many others following. Damn, this takes courage.
posted by dry white toast at 8:33 AM on April 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Even after John Amaechi came out a few years back, I didn't think the NBA would have the first out active player in the major U.S. professional sports. I wonder how much press this will get during the NBA playoffs (which Collins is not in, because the Wizards are... well, let's say "playing to form").
posted by Etrigan at 8:33 AM on April 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Damn it!
I had hockey in my "coming out pool".

Hooray for Collins, though - that's a great article and he seems like a mensch.
posted by Lemurrhea at 8:33 AM on April 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


YAY!!!
posted by josher71 at 8:34 AM on April 29, 2013


IT'S A PICK AND ROLL, NOT A PICK AND STEVE!!!

This is great news. I'm actually greatly looking forward to seeing how everyone in sports DOESN'T freak out about this. What's awesome is that the time is right and we did need someone to just make the plunge; now that the dam has burst, I wouldn't be surprised to see 5, 6, 7 come out in the next couple of months.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 8:34 AM on April 29, 2013 [11 favorites]


Go Wizards! Well, next season, anyway!
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:34 AM on April 29, 2013


Make no mistake, there will be haters and trolls. But they're about to get an abject lesson on what it feels like to be on the wrong side of history.
posted by dry white toast at 8:35 AM on April 29, 2013 [11 favorites]


Finally, a reason to support the Wizards.
posted by petrilli at 8:35 AM on April 29, 2013 [5 favorites]


Maybe Mike Miller, my old teammate in Memphis, will recall the time I dropped by his house in Florida and say, "I enjoyed being his teammate, and I sold him a dog."

How the FUCK do you bury the lede like this? WHAT KIND OF DOG, MAN? WAS IT TOTES ADORBZ OR WHAT?
posted by Greg Nog at 8:35 AM on April 29, 2013 [21 favorites]


Wait a minute. Yesterday, I slid under a car and did some minor auto maintenance. Today I read an article about sports.

I feel funny.

QUICK! SOMEONE HIT ME WITH A SHOWTUNE!
posted by jph at 8:36 AM on April 29, 2013 [31 favorites]


Damn, I had $50 on Tebow.
posted by Drinky Die at 8:36 AM on April 29, 2013 [11 favorites]


Great read, wish him the best of luck. Unfortunately, it's not a sure thing he will be playing anywhere next season, his contract is up and he was the last guy off the bench on one of the nba's worst teams.
posted by skewed at 8:37 AM on April 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Nice to feel proud of being a Wizards fan for the first time in a while...
posted by callmejay at 8:37 AM on April 29, 2013


jph, the Drama Desk nominations were announced almost exactly the same time this hit my newsfeed. Does that help? :)
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:37 AM on April 29, 2013


I've loved seeing the progress in the entertainment industry from Ellen's Time Cover to Jim Parson's and Zachary Quinto's revelation being almost an afterthought paragraphs deep into the first articles that mentioned it.

to be fair - mentioned deep in an article is just another media strategy. like ellen, many people had been waiting for them (and anderson cooper) to come out of the glass closet. at the same time you still have rupert everett saying that gay men who want to be leading men shouldn't come out. i wish the entertainment industry was the sort of place where it doesn't matter, but i don't think we're quite there yet.
posted by nadawi at 8:38 AM on April 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


I just feel so bad for this guy. We've heard stories here and there about how teams know one of their teammates is gay and has a partner but keeps it quiet, even as they support him. But Collins seems like he hasn't had the ability to build relationships like that, even within his own family. Only telling your gay uncle when you're 33? Wow.

I hope he can find the love he so deserves.
posted by Madamina at 8:38 AM on April 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Damn, I had $50 on Tebow.

He just got dropped, so that's his news for the day.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:38 AM on April 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Gay people Rule!
posted by SteelDancin at 8:38 AM on April 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Washington Wizards are first in something!
posted by Navelgazer at 8:43 AM on April 29, 2013 [15 favorites]


WHAT KIND OF DOG, MAN? WAS IT TOTES ADORBZ OR WHAT?

OMG GREG RTFA, it is a german shepherd.
posted by elizardbits at 8:43 AM on April 29, 2013 [13 favorites]


Some people insist they've never met a gay person. But Three Degrees of Jason Collins dictates that no NBA player can claim that anymore. Pro basketball is a family. And pretty much every family I know has a brother, sister or cousin who's gay. In the brotherhood of the NBA, I just happen to be the one who's out.

I was going to say "congratulations", but I realized that "thank you" is more appropriate.

Thank you, Mr Collins.
posted by jb at 8:44 AM on April 29, 2013 [7 favorites]


Can't wait until this isn't news.

I think it is more news to most people outside of sports than inside it. The players know they play with gay teammates; I can't find the article but the UCLA football coach asked his players "Who has played with a gay team mate?" and almost every hand came up (he also was one of the first big time college football coaches to openly say that gay players would be encouraged into his program). In sports, like most things, the ignorant loudmouths get the most attention, but I really believe that this will be more accepted than most people think.

That being said, this was a brave move; the ignorant loudmouths can be tough no matter how few their numbers.
posted by roquetuen at 8:44 AM on April 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Drinky Die: "Damn, I had $50 on Tebow."

Hey, that's $50 more than the Jets have on him anymore.
posted by boo_radley at 8:45 AM on April 29, 2013 [24 favorites]


it is a german shepherd.

Oh! I missed that somehow! This is good, though, I am now picturing them frolicking and it rules
posted by Greg Nog at 8:45 AM on April 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


roquetuen - I think perhaps, the biggest danger of ignorant loudmouths isn't teammates -- they at least know where their bread is buttered -- but the fans.
posted by petrilli at 8:45 AM on April 29, 2013


I hope he can find the love he so deserves.

Oh, I think this will do wonders for his love life. At any rate it'll dramatically increase the offers he gets.
posted by orange swan at 8:46 AM on April 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


My immediate reaction was "FINALLY." Loving this.
posted by grubi at 8:46 AM on April 29, 2013


roquetuen - I think perhaps, the biggest danger of ignorant loudmouths isn't teammates -- they at least know where their bread is buttered -- but the fans.

I think he'll be okay in DC at least.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:47 AM on April 29, 2013


I think he'll be okay in DC at least.

Kind of. There's still a pretty loud contingent of ignoramuses, mostly in the churches.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:48 AM on April 29, 2013


On top of everything else, this is an incredibly well-written and moving article. Collins isn't just the first openly gay athlete playing in a major league, but it's hard to imagine any sportswriter coming close to writing as good a piece on him as he did himself. Which is awesome in its own sense - that he gets the first and best word on the subject.
posted by allen.spaulding at 8:49 AM on April 29, 2013 [16 favorites]


Just a reminder:

Swoopes Says She Is Gay, and Exhales (from 2005)
posted by zombieflanders at 8:50 AM on April 29, 2013 [18 favorites]


I have to say, I'm more than a little awed and inspired by his choice of jersey numbers as his personal private coded coming out slash memorial for Matthew Shepherd.

GOD DAMNIT. SPORTBALL JUST MADE ME CRY.
posted by jph at 8:51 AM on April 29, 2013 [9 favorites]


Thanks to Jason Collins and Dumbledore now there's two really cool gay wizards.— Travon Free (@Travon) April 29, 2013

posted by grubi at 8:51 AM on April 29, 2013 [31 favorites]


And here comes the oh-so-brave right-wing media:
@benshapiro: So Jason Collins is a hero because he's gay? Our standard has dropped quite a bit since Normandy.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:52 AM on April 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Collins isn't just the first openly gay athlete playing in a major league, but it's hard to imagine any sportswriter coming close to writing as good a piece on him as he did himself. Which is awesome in its own sense - that he gets the first and best word on the subject.

Welll... I said this myself, actually, and then noticed a "with" in the byline. So a sportswriter did in fact have some non-zero input here. Mind you, this smells to me like it's mostly his work - the way the sentences are built smack of non-professional writing, so I'd like to imagine it's just edited/tweaked by the SI writer and not more-or-less ghostwritten.
posted by Tomorrowful at 8:53 AM on April 29, 2013


Bonus: Ben Shapiro is currently hawking his book, titled--and I'm not making this up--"Bullies: How The Left's Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America"

Brilliant juxtaposition.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:54 AM on April 29, 2013 [17 favorites]


Can't wait until this isn't news.

Exactly. It shouldn't matter.

I keep hearing people say that gay players in professional sports will be subject to extraordinary levels of harassment. I hope that everyone involved proves themselves to be better than that.

And Jason Collins just became my favorite basketball player.
posted by dfm500 at 8:55 AM on April 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Okay, so I just dig a little digging to see if I could find some photos of the dog that Mike Miller sold to Collins, and HOLY SHIT the dude owned a CRAB-EATING MACAQUE:

Miller is an avid lover of animals. He owns three dogs: a Weimaraner named Zeke and two Great Danes, Domino and Rookie. He also has an aquarium filled with exotic fish, and once owned a Java Macaque named Sonny. He often tells the story in which his monkey escaped from his room: "You would always put him in his room, and then we'd lock the door, and then we'd put the dogs out, and then we'd lock the front door. Well, he found out how to unlock doors, unlocked his door, went downstairs, let the dogs in the house and opened the front door. About an hour later we got a call from our neighbors, saying, 'Your monkey is riding your dogs around the neighborhood.'
posted by Greg Nog at 8:55 AM on April 29, 2013 [45 favorites]


That Shapiro quote is vile.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 8:55 AM on April 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


Good for him. Now we get to see how far we've come as a civilization with how much non-response this gets.
posted by Blue_Villain at 8:55 AM on April 29, 2013


Wow, apparently you have to storm a beach to impress some guys.

Anyway great for this guy, hopefully the locker room which has been a strong holdout of intense homophobia will finally give into the wave of progress.
posted by vuron at 8:56 AM on April 29, 2013


Some responses to that Ben Shapiro tweet:

Jonah Keri ‏@jonahkeri: @benshapiro So true. At the time when Normandy happened, a man who was both black and gay might've been lynched simply for breathing the air

And Tom Scocca has been hate-retweeting old Ben Shapiro tweets:

Ben Shapiro ‏@benshapiro 1 Dec 11
@adamcarolla is my hero: http://hotair.com/archives/2011/12/01/adam-carollas-r-rated-but-right-on-rant/ …

Ben Shapiro ‏@benshapiro 5 Jun 11
Lionel Chetwynd is a true hero for standing up. Now, will the Caucus stand against discrimination by its members? #PrimetimePropaganda

Ben Shapiro ‏@benshapiro 10 Dec 11
Fact: Newt is a hero for speaking truth on the Palestinians. We need a president who is willing to do that, despite OPEC.

Ben Shapiro ‏@benshapiro 8 Jan
With Sen. Ted Cruz, Tea Party hero, in green room at @hannityshow! http://yfrog.com/mnk7sxuj

Ben Shapiro ‏@benshapiro 10 Jan
On the phenomenal @marklevinshow tonight to discuss 'Bullies'! Very excited. Mark's a hero. http://www.amazon.com/Bullies-Culture-Intimidation-Silences-Americans/dp/1476709998 …
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 8:57 AM on April 29, 2013 [21 favorites]


Good for him. I hope he has his best season yet now that he's not trying to keep the closet door shut.
posted by rmd1023 at 8:58 AM on April 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-MA), his roommate at Stanford: "I'm proud to stand with him today and proud to call him a friend."
posted by zombieflanders at 8:58 AM on April 29, 2013 [6 favorites]


In a world that still suffers people like Ben Shapiro, Collins is brave enough to set an example of not living in fear of people like Ben Shapiro.

But whatever, don't feed the trolls and all that.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:58 AM on April 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


I feel incredibly badly for my cousin, also a Ben Shapiro, but a very nice one.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:59 AM on April 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


Awesome! And an amazing detail in TFA: Collins wore number 98 in honor of Matthew Shepard.
posted by AceRock at 8:59 AM on April 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


Shapiro being an ass maybe doesn't need to become the dominant theme of this thread, yeah?
posted by cortex at 8:59 AM on April 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


But whatever, don't feed the trolls and all that.

Drag 'em out from under the bridge and shine as much sunlight on it as you can.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:59 AM on April 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


Totally cool. Sometimes it seems like we live in an America run by and for shitgoblins, but we periodically get these desperately necessary reminders that there is a thing called progress and we are ineluctably trudging towards a civilized society.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 9:00 AM on April 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't want to downplay this news (which is legitimately groundbreaking), but at age 34, Collins is just about at the end of his career. He's now a de facto leader among male gay athletes, plus he beats those four NFL players who are rumored to be coming out of the closet. He'll get a book deal and lots of positive news coverage (and probably a few brickbats from the far right, but not nearly as many as you might expect).

We'll really know if progress has come to professional sports when a young prospect approaching draft day, or a superstar with a contract to negotiate, decides to announce that he's gay.
posted by BobbyVan at 9:00 AM on April 29, 2013 [5 favorites]


Also, I love Baron Davis's reaction: @Baron_Davis: I am so proud of my bro @jasoncollins34 for being real. #FTheHaters
posted by AceRock at 9:01 AM on April 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Wow, the SI comments are really....bad.
posted by Han Tzu at 9:02 AM on April 29, 2013


Things can change in an instant, so why not live truthfully?

Hell yes, basketball dude. Good luck and congratulations.
posted by mintcake! at 9:03 AM on April 29, 2013


@KobeBryant Proud of @jasoncollins34. Don't suffocate who u r because of the ignorance of others #courage #support #mambaarmystandup #BYOU
posted by drezdn at 9:03 AM on April 29, 2013 [8 favorites]


Han Tzu - Rule #1 of the Internet: Don't read the comments on general websites. EVER. There's nothing to be gained.
posted by petrilli at 9:03 AM on April 29, 2013 [6 favorites]


@kobebryant: Proud of @jasoncollins34. Don't suffocate who u r because of the ignorance of others #courage #support #mambaarmystandup #BYOU
posted by zombieflanders at 9:03 AM on April 29, 2013 [6 favorites]


I don't want to downplay this news

So then why do so?

We'll really know if progress has come to professional sports when a young prospect approaching draft day, or a superstar with a contract to negotiate, decides to announce that he's gay.

So, when you've...*puts on sunglasses*...moved the goalposts?

YYYEEEAAAHHH
posted by zombieflanders at 9:05 AM on April 29, 2013 [52 favorites]


Dammit stop making me like Kobe, I'm still drinking a urn full of his tears from yesterday.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:07 AM on April 29, 2013 [10 favorites]


@NBA: NBA Commissioner David Stern statement re: Washington Wizards center Jason Collins announcement today “As Adam Silver and I said to Jason, we have known the Collins family since Jason and Jarron joined the NBA in 2001 and they have been exemplary members of the NBA family. Jason has been a widely respected player and teammate throughout his career and we are proud he has assumed the leadership mantle on this very important issue.” #NBAFamily
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:07 AM on April 29, 2013 [8 favorites]


MetaFilter: Your monkey is riding your dogs around the neighborhood
posted by bakerina at 9:08 AM on April 29, 2013 [26 favorites]


I hope he signs with Miami (my team) next year.

The sheer spectacle of an openly gay athlete in that town (so close to South Beach and Key West) will be awesome.

Also, most of our centers are not great (to put it mildly) so he might actually get to play a bit.
posted by oddman at 9:09 AM on April 29, 2013


those four NFL players who are rumored to be coming out of the closet

i actually wondered if he's one of the four - either ayanbadejo or kluwe back tracked a little after that statement and said there is a group of athletes across a few different sports that were trying to be convinced to come out on the same day.

and yeah, he's at the end of his career and there might be an angle of opportunistic timing here, but he understands (and i agree with) the difference between coming out before you announce your retirement and after. without people coming out after they've left sports, he might not have come out today - and that young kid trying to make the team while being openly gay, whenever he comes up the ranks, has been given an assist by jason collins.
posted by nadawi at 9:11 AM on April 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


@SteveNash: The time has come. Maximum respect.
posted by dry white toast at 9:12 AM on April 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Former players like Tim Hardaway, who said "I hate gay people" (and then became a supporter of gay rights), fuel homophobia.

Hmm, that sentence ended up being awkward after an editor added that parenthetical.
posted by smackfu at 9:12 AM on April 29, 2013 [1 favorite]



I just had an old soccer/football team mate friend me on Facebook. I was a bit curious to see what he was up to, and I noted that he was now married to another guy I knew in high school.

I thought back to that team. There were two players who, in later years, came out. I remember when the first one, L, came out I was in college, and I had been talking to a classmate on the phone:

Him: "Did you hear L is gay now?"
Me: "Well, what do you mean?"
Him: "Gay, like... wants to have sex with other men."
Me: "I know, but... Wasn't he already? I thought we all knew that."
Him: "Well, now he's admitted to it."

With both of those guys, we sort of suspected, and in ways were pretty certain, but I don't think anybody really cared. On the wrestling team, I recall there was quite a bit of homophobia, ironically enough. If either of those guys came out at the time, I think they would have been surprised how supportive people would have been. Yeah, we showered with them, but we were more creeped out by that one assistant coach who had a wife and kids and was just downright repressed than we would have been by any open homosexual. Actually, I think we pretty much were under that assumption.

But that's sports. That's competitive sports. Once the ball is in play, and until the buzzer sounds, you have your team, and you want to beat their team. Everything that categorizes people, no matter what it is becomes an afterthought. All you care about is the color of the jersey/kits.

If either of those guys came out in high school, there may have been a few people with a bad attitude about it, but they wouldn't dare say anything. They would have had 22 well-conditioned atheletes ready to kick the shit out of them if they did.
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 9:12 AM on April 29, 2013


Is there some kind of backstory here with Mike Miller or something? The Mike Miller references seemed almost jarring in the article.
posted by MoonOrb at 9:13 AM on April 29, 2013


The Wizards are my 'home' team (in so much as they're the DC team and I'm from Baltimore, close enough I guess?) so for the first time ever I'm actually paying attention to them. I sincerely hope and wish that Mr. Collins is treated well and respected and that this news ends up being just "oh hey that's nice, bring your boyfriend to the next Christmas party" but I fear the worst. :(

His note about picking 98 as his number made me a little teary.


Also sort of surprised that there's no "Well too little, too late" responses here like there were in the Ricky Martin thread. (which was abominable of people and so I'm very glad to not see them)
posted by FritoKAL at 9:14 AM on April 29, 2013


Okay, so I just dig a little digging to see if I could find some photos of the dog that Mike Miller sold to Collins, and HOLY SHIT the dude owned a CRAB-EATING MACAQUE:

Miller is a weird dude. He named one of his kids after LeBron's business manager when his only connection to LeBron was that they played together on the US National Team in a minor international tournament.
posted by Copronymus at 9:17 AM on April 29, 2013


"Big kudos to @JasonCollins34. Living proof that your sexuality has nothing to do with your athletic ability." - Chris Kluwe (nfl kicker and all around awesome nerdy ally)
posted by nadawi at 9:17 AM on April 29, 2013


re: Mike Miller. Collins seems to not have developed a lot of close friendships during his career. So, it's possible that, in striving to insert some NBA anecdotes into the article, a pair of comments about Miller, a guy popular enough that any NBA fan will have heard of him, were the only ones that Collins could provide.
posted by oddman at 9:18 AM on April 29, 2013


Bill Clinton: I'm proud to call Jason Collins a friend
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:18 AM on April 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


Statement from the Washington Wizards: "We are extremely proud of Jason & support his decision to live his life proudly and openly."
posted by dry white toast at 9:22 AM on April 29, 2013 [15 favorites]


Where are the comments on the SI article? I tried enabling pop-ups.
posted by mullacc at 9:23 AM on April 29, 2013


one of the things i found most interesting is that it's often said that someone's family/teammates/close friends knew and have always known - but that doesn't seem to be the case here. even his twin brother was surprised when he told him. how lonely it must have been to keep a secret from the one person you should be able to be your closest with.
posted by nadawi at 9:23 AM on April 29, 2013 [6 favorites]


how lonely it must have been to keep a secret from the one person you should be able to be your closest with.

It's a terribly isolating experience. I am glad for him that he gets to have the biggest coming out party in the world right now.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:25 AM on April 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


re: Mike Miller. Collins seems to not have developed a lot of close friendships during his career. So, it's possible that, in striving to insert some NBA anecdotes into the article, a pair of comments about Miller, a guy popular enough that any NBA fan will have heard of him, were the only ones that Collins could provide.

If that's the case it speaks volumes about the isolation Collins felt from his teammates.
posted by MoonOrb at 9:29 AM on April 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


@Martina: Well done Jason Collins- you are a brave man. And a big man at that:) 1981 was the year for me- 2013 is the year for you:)
posted by zombieflanders at 9:31 AM on April 29, 2013 [6 favorites]


Reading the replies to Kobe's Tweet, I realize how much I enjoy the fact that people who use "gay" as an insult ALWAYS use "your" wrong. ie "your gay"
posted by dry white toast at 9:32 AM on April 29, 2013 [10 favorites]


Yay!
posted by jaguar at 9:34 AM on April 29, 2013


I reviewed that homophobe Ben Shapiro's first book, Brainwashed, and noted what he wrote in a column back in 2003:
"If you pay tuition, you're sponsoring the militant homosexual agenda. If you pay taxes, you're sponsoring the militant homosexual agenda. If your child majors in English, you're sponsoring the militant homosexual agenda."
posted by JohnKarlWilson at 9:34 AM on April 29, 2013 [5 favorites]


chris kluwe discusses why he's a straight ally for the gay community.
posted by nadawi at 9:37 AM on April 29, 2013


"If you read Brainwashed, you're sponsoring the militant homosexual agenda."
posted by Kitteh at 9:37 AM on April 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Between this and Tebow, it's a tough day for a certain segment of evangelical sports fans.

Collins's piece is quite good -- especially for where it is published (and I say that as the opposite of a sports snob... just sometimes a Sports Illustrated snob); it plays a lot of the same notes that many of us here might recognize, but it's a tune that's still pretty new to a lot of folks, and he plays it well.

But oh the loneliness that creeps in if you read a specific way. Because, seriously, all I could think is 'Seven feet tall is too tall to be down low very successfully."

"If you pay tuition, you're sponsoring the militant homosexual agenda. If you pay taxes, you're sponsoring the militant homosexual agenda. If your child majors in English, you're sponsoring the militant homosexual agenda."

Wow - I was a triple threat. Explains so much.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:39 AM on April 29, 2013 [8 favorites]


"If you pay tuition, you're sponsoring the militant homosexual agenda. If you pay taxes, you're sponsoring the militant homosexual agenda. If your child majors in English, you're sponsoring the militant homosexual agenda."

I'm.... ok with that. Assuming I get a tote bag. A really fabulous tote bag.

That's why Shapiro's so upset. Because more and more Americans do not view the "militant homosexual agenda" as any kind of threat. I'm sure he'll find another group to use for his scaremongering, book-selling purposes though.
posted by snickerdoodle at 9:42 AM on April 29, 2013 [5 favorites]


This is pretty awesome. I hope he sleeps like a narcoleptic on NyQuil tonight.
posted by Mooski at 9:44 AM on April 29, 2013 [3 favorites]



Where are the comments on the SI article? I tried enabling pop-ups.


It looks like they've been disabled on the SI page, they were right under the article earlier today. They were about as bad as you can imagine.
posted by Peccable at 9:45 AM on April 29, 2013


If your child majors in English, you're sponsoring the militant homosexual agenda."

Hey, asshole, I've been majoring in English for almost 35 years now, and if I had known this, I would have done it 5 times as hard.
posted by FelliniBlank at 9:46 AM on April 29, 2013 [12 favorites]


'Bout time.
posted by kinnakeet at 9:47 AM on April 29, 2013


I reviewed that homophobe Ben Shapiro's first book, Brainwashed, and noted what he wrote in a column back in 2003:

"If you pay tuition, you're sponsoring the militant homosexual agenda. If you pay taxes, you're sponsoring the militant homosexual agenda. If your child majors in English, you're sponsoring the militant homosexual agenda."

posted by JohnKarlWilson at 12:34 PM on April 29



waves Bach. of Arts English Literature diploma

FUCK YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
posted by magstheaxe at 9:48 AM on April 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


I know this shouldn’t have anything to do with it, but I am weirdly glad that the first gay professional athlete is Black. There’s definitely a different stigma in the African American community, and I think this does a lot to rectify that.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:52 AM on April 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


"We'll really know if progress has come to professional sports when a young prospect approaching draft day, or a superstar with a contract to negotiate, decides to announce that he's gay."

To use the wrong sport's metaphor, that's moving the goalposts. This is progress today. After today, it will be more progress if a young prospect or a superstar announces they're gay. That doesn't mean this isn't progress.
posted by klangklangston at 9:55 AM on April 29, 2013 [16 favorites]


Good for this guy and good for basketball. Also, what makes Shapiro think that they're weren't any gay guys storming the beach at Normandy?
posted by jonmc at 9:59 AM on April 29, 2013 [14 favorites]


Okay, several thoughts:

(A) Wow. I'm shocked. I had no idea Jason Collins openly plays for the Washington Wizards.


(B) Best part of the article: "Though Shaquille O'Neal is a Hall of Famer, I never shirked from the challenge of trying to frustrate the heck out of him. (Note to Shaq: My flopping has nothing to do with being gay.)"

I fully support Collins in his decision to come out as gay, but when I read that? Then I realized he must be killed.

(Yes, I'm virulently flop-o-phobic. Although, to be fair, guys guarding Shaq in his prime didn't really need to sell their flopping)


(C) Second best part: When it started with "I'm a 34 year old NBA Center. I'm Black." I got a little confused about why he thought we didn't know he was black. Aren't all NBA players black?

(I tease, I tease. I just don't pay attention unless Larry Bird's playing)


(D) How can we be sure that this isnt a ploy by the Wizards to keep John Wall from leaving the team? Y'know, lest he be labeled a homophobe?


Okay, now I've got the snark out: this is a great, GREAT day for American sports, and America, period (since we worship sports here). I'm...actually tearing up a little. This is truly, truly awesome. God bless you and thank you, Jason Collins #not-actuallyflop-o-phobic-okay-maybe-stillaa-little-bit-but-I'm-trying-to-grow
posted by magstheaxe at 10:01 AM on April 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


NYTimes
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:06 AM on April 29, 2013


I am not a basketball fan, and thus not a Wizards fan. But I'm proud that "my" team is being so supportive of Mr. Collins. If they were still playing this year, I'd be buying a few tickets just because. And this IS progress, no matter the caveats that some have raised (he's on his way out, etc.). It's a big deal. And what an excellent article too!

I'm a bit worried for him about the sort of reaction he will face, yet I think that the overt support from bball stars (dammit, I usually loathe Kobe) will play a part in easing things. I truly hope that we will all be surprised at the support he will receive, both in general and from other players within the league. Let's hope other players in major sports will be able to be themselves soon too!
posted by gemmy at 10:08 AM on April 29, 2013


Good for him. Hope the floodgates open.
posted by scody at 10:16 AM on April 29, 2013 [5 favorites]


> I'm a bit worried for him about the sort of reaction he will face


You know, I remember years ago reading an interview with Jackie Robinson's wife Rachel, where she talked about the rage that Robinson had inside him for how he was treated. She said that the support he had helped, but the constant barrage of abuse from fans and especially opposing teams left him with this...core of utter rage that ate at him, even after he left baseball and was hailed as an American hero. IIRC, she said he never got over it, and she believed it played a role in his health and his death.


I hope that Collins has the support to avoid a similar fate.
posted by magstheaxe at 10:23 AM on April 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


If your child majors in English, you're sponsoring the militant homosexual agenda.

I minored in English. Does that make me bi-curious?
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 10:24 AM on April 29, 2013 [7 favorites]


If your child majors in English, you're sponsoring the militant homosexual agenda.

That's like 1000 lbs of batshit insanity in a 1 oz bag. Fuck that guy, seriously. The only relief I can get from shit like that is that they're going nuts because they're losing. That's so crazy and out of nowehere I can't even decide where to start.

And yeah, between Tebow and this, it's more sports than I've ever read about, ever. I am so glad Tebow is out of NY, and Collins is out of the closet.
posted by nevercalm at 10:29 AM on April 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


We'll really know if progress has come to professional sports when a young prospect approaching draft day, or a superstar with a contract to negotiate, decides to announce that he's gay

I was interested that Brittney Griner came out just before the draft (I believe).
posted by idb at 10:31 AM on April 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


Interesting that it's a guy on DC's team that makes this news, of all cities. Even if he isn't re-signed by the Wizards, ostensibly there are a lot of politicians who follow the team, and are familiar with him.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 10:34 AM on April 29, 2013


Oh man, I majored in history instead of English....no one told me I was doing it wrong all these years! Still got my toaster oven though!

On topic: The closet is a terrible place to have to live. I'm so happy for him that he doesn't have to live in one anymore.
posted by rtha at 10:35 AM on April 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


First out and active athlete in US sports, NBA playoffs, and the NHL playoffs start tomorrow. You think ESPN will only devote 80% of Sportscenter to post NFL draft analysis? This is a great day for sports.
posted by cmfletcher at 10:36 AM on April 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


I was thinking about the WNBA parallel, too. Not that being lesbian in the WNBA or LPGA or whatever isn't still difficult, but even without the LGBT fan base, being a lesbian and a strong, athletic woman isn't cognitive dissonance. Being a gay man and strong, athletic, masculine, whatever... that still is, for many people.

At least for those who have never met a leather daddy or rugby player. Hotcha.
posted by Madamina at 10:38 AM on April 29, 2013


That was a surprisingly good article, and I'm really impressed by the vocal support from other athletes so far. What was also surprising to me was how Collins' aunt said that she knew years ago, but that his twin brother Jarron had no idea!
posted by antonymous at 10:40 AM on April 29, 2013


I don't follow sports (except by osmosis as a result of living in Boston), and I've sort of assumed that there was at least a few openly gay athletes playing, it just wasn't that common. It wasn't until the last few months when the speculation about who would be the first to come out that I realized there was none.

There's a ton of attention following this now and seeing Collins come out is going encourage a lot of young athletes that they can go pro and be gay and that is necessary and awesome. But I really can't wait until any future, wannabe pro athlete makes the same assumption without thinking about it.
posted by raeka at 10:41 AM on April 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


You think ESPN will only devote 80% of Sportscenter to post NFL draft analysis?

It's headline news at every major news site. It's a barely-visible item in the sidebar at ESPN.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:42 AM on April 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


I totally called NBA in the pool! And Collins was on my team this year til he got traded to the Wizards. I didn't think much of him as a Celtic, but I have so much respect for him as a man.
posted by Biblio at 10:42 AM on April 29, 2013


Jason Collins Breaks a Barrier. But Will He Find Another N.B.A. Job?
posted by BobbyVan at 10:43 AM on April 29, 2013


I loved how well-written, thoughtful, and personal this article was. I'm glad the first major athlete to come out is articulate. That will hopefully help him with the scrutiny ahead.
posted by megancita at 10:44 AM on April 29, 2013


Hope the floodgates open.

Seriously. The very, very best thing that could happen here would be for Collins to be first by a day, rather than first by a year — for him to be joined in public by others, right now, stars and minor players alike, in every one of the major sports. Rather than something like Jackie Robinson and Larry Doby's grueling years as all too visible individual targets, let's have a little I AM SPARTACUS action here. Give the homophobes too many other faces and names and lives to slander all at once, before they can go to work on Collins alone.
posted by RogerB at 10:44 AM on April 29, 2013 [7 favorites]


The news is good, but what I particularly like is how personal and well written the article is. It's not just the standard coming out story; it feels much more sincere, idiosyncratic, nuanced. Like a real person, not just a Gay Role Model.
posted by Nelson at 10:47 AM on April 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


being a lesbian and a strong, athletic woman isn't cognitive dissonance.

no - but, there is a different sort of pressure since a lot of athletic women are assumed to be (and bullied as if they are) gay - so there's this undercurrent of a lot of athletes proving their heterosexuality. you see the same thing in male figure skating - the homophobia there runs deep because some seem to feel like having an openly gay competitor makes it harder for them to convince the world they're straight.
posted by nadawi at 10:48 AM on April 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Nadawi: agreed. See Danica Patrick, et. al. (even though to some degree racing cars has a bit more potential for glamour).
posted by Madamina at 10:52 AM on April 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sporting World Celebrates Jason Collins For Coming Out
posted by zombieflanders at 10:53 AM on April 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Madamina - yep - same sort of thing was on display a few years ago with this debacle.
posted by nadawi at 10:58 AM on April 29, 2013


The Modest Heroism of Jason Collins
The 30 NBA teams are not going to retire Collins's number; in fact, none of them will. He has earned his place in basketball history, but it remains to be seen just how huge a place it will prove, and his new historical status is guaranteed to minimize a very admirable playing career on the court (as even Robinson's beginnings overshadowed his Hall of Fame on-field contributions). Collins's is not the Robinson-esque heroism available only to the incredible people among us. His is the everyday-type heroism that we all can learn from. And his aims are proportionately modest. "I'm glad I'm coming out in 2013 rather than 2003," he writes. "The climate has shifted; public opinion has shifted. And yet we still have so much farther to go. Everyone is terrified of the unknown, but most of us don't want to return to a time when minorities were openly discriminated against." No, most of us don't, and one feels that most of us can, like Collins, actually make a difference toward ensuring that doesn't happen.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:05 AM on April 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


So I guess the bigots' line of attack on this story is "It's really nothing; it's only the gays who think coming out is a big deal." A sampling of comments from my local rag:
"Why do gay people have to come out? Gay folks can still pursue their legal rights without holding a public announcement. Let me add one other little secret...in most instances, at work, at home or at church, we already know who is gay, huh? Very few secrets here pal."
"Gay and lesbian have a over inflated view of the importance of coming out. Don't mean squat to me and most of the folks I know offer the same sentiment. Don't mean nothing..."
Lovely, huh?
posted by notsnot at 11:10 AM on April 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


So I guess the bigots' line of attack on this story is "It's really nothing; it's only the gays who think coming out is a big deal."

People can't be heroes without villains.

When you have a personal investment in keeping people locked up in the closet, then the most obvious strategy is to downplay the efforts of those who break out of it so you don't look like you were the one with the key and the nightstick.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:14 AM on April 29, 2013 [11 favorites]


of course that's the line they take. it's just the next step along the "well whatever you want to do in the privacy of your own home is your business, but don't flaunt your sin on main street!" train. it is basically undeniable that people coming out - famous, not famous, young, old, etc - has paved the road for gay acceptance. of course the bigots want people to stop making such a spectacle of it.
posted by nadawi at 11:16 AM on April 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


That's the best part about coming out, notsnot!

They don't think it matters. They give a little hurf durf about people keeping private lives private and then they move on with their day. But now there's a tiny little voice in the back of their head, reminding them, "Oh hey, that dude/tte's gay. And I respect that dude/tte."

And now when they're asked about this issue, they're statistically more likely to stop for a moment and listen to that little voice. Suddenly, they're experiencing cognitive dissonance. Where they were previously unconflicted on the issue, they're now holding two potentially opposing viewpoints.

Then one day - for some sooner, for others later - like a Giant Rainbow Chest-Burster of Equality, that little voice comes tearing to the surface because they're no longer able to see the otherness of gender and sexual minorities. And voila. An ally is born.
posted by jph at 11:20 AM on April 29, 2013 [18 favorites]


Good for Jason Collins, but I wince when people call him "the gay Jackie Robinson."

Jackie Robinson was a black man playing major league sports a decade and change *before* the civil rights movement took shape. His bravery in doing so put a Herculean amount of the weight on his back that needed to move to get the entire movement rolling.

Jason Collins is coming out near much closer to the end of the gay civil rights movement than the beginning. And while he deserves to be commended, his coming out is less noteworthy as an inspirational act for ordinary LGBT Americans than it is as the net result of the struggle such ordinary people have been waging without the help of pro athletes for the last few decades.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:28 AM on April 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


It's about time. He seems like a decent guy, and I wish him nothing but the best. Thank you, Mr. Collins.
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:39 AM on April 29, 2013


If we took all the energy spent by Yahoo! commenters furiously typing WHO CARES!!! into comment boxes on computers across America we'd be able to solve the nation's fuel crisis.
posted by no regrets, coyote at 11:39 AM on April 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


So I guess the bigots' line of attack on this story is "It's really nothing; it's only the gays who think coming out is a big deal."

Yep. The closet is rapidly becoming a thing of the past, and the bigots know it (and can't stand it). But since the bigots can't force LGBT folks back in the closet, the next best thing they have in their (weakening) arsenal is to diminish the act of coming out itself.
posted by scody at 11:47 AM on April 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Good for Jason Collins, but I wince when people call him "the gay Jackie Robinson."

Jackie Robinson was a black man playing major league sports a decade and change *before* the civil rights movement took shape. His bravery in doing so put a Herculean amount of the weight on his back that needed to move to get the entire movement rolling.

posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:28 AM


I think that's a slight disservice to the legions of African Americans who were very much working on civil rights prior to Robinson's arrival in the major leagues. Marcus Garvey, W.E.B. du Bois, and Booker T. Washington are all essential figures in the history of the civil rights movement, organizing, advocating, and establishing groups that would be instrumental in knocking back Jim Crow.

Robinson hit the bigs about 51 years after Plessy v. Ferguson, and it's been just under 44 years since Stonewall.
posted by The Notorious SRD at 11:48 AM on April 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


Coming out, as such, isn't even always deemed necessary anymore by some, at least in the Big Amnouncement sense. Granted, I work in environment so gay-friendly that I occasionally wonder if they still make straight people* but I digress. Awhile ago a coworker named Arthur, who I'd casually known for a few years, recently has minor accident which left him with a few
facial scrapes and bruises. As he examined himself in a breakroom mirror, I joked "Don't worry, dude, chicks dig scars." He looked at a nearby coworker who smiled and said "that's not a big concern of his." and they chuckled. As a relatively minor character in this guy's life, I didn't need to know but it was no big deal if I did,which I suppose is what we're aiming for here.

* Used bookstore, East Village.
posted by jonmc at 11:50 AM on April 29, 2013


I didn't mean to sell Garvey, Du Bois, and company short. But my point still stands: because of what Jackie Robinson did, many ordinary people felt empowered to pursue desegregation; because of what ordinary people have accomplished, Jason Collins felt empowered to come out. It's very, very different.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:52 AM on April 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


and the award for first homophobic response by a professional athlete goes to miami dolphins wide receiver mike wallace.
posted by nadawi at 11:52 AM on April 29, 2013


You know what's messed up? Collins played for the Stanford Cardinal, and yes that is SINGULAR, not plural, but their mascot is a TREE?!?!?

It would've made more sense if he and his brother, who were both seven-footers, played for a tree-mascoted school with a plural nickname.

Outrageous.
posted by dragonsi55 at 11:53 AM on April 29, 2013


ABC News will get the first interview
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:55 AM on April 29, 2013


It would've made more sense if he and his brother, who were both seven-footers, played for a tree-mascoted school with a plural nickname.

The 7-foot tall Lopez brothers also went to Stanford.
posted by mullacc at 11:57 AM on April 29, 2013


The 7-foot tall Lopez brothers also went to Stanford.

Yeah, what is THAT?!?! That's too weird.
posted by dragonsi55 at 12:02 PM on April 29, 2013


magic johnson tweets his support.

also, for anyone who missed it, magic also had some great things to say about his son who is gay.
posted by nadawi at 12:05 PM on April 29, 2013 [5 favorites]


magic johnson tweets his support.

Magic was incredibly important for mainstreaming HIV, as players actually had to touch him when he was on the court. Sports lets people get fanatically worked up over something that is ultimately unimportant, but sports can also be a medium of change, when the Other is wearing the jersey.
posted by dragonsi55 at 12:14 PM on April 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


Collins played for the Stanford Cardinal, and yes that is SINGULAR, not plural, but their mascot is a TREE?!?!?

Because color, not bird, and tree because redwood!
posted by rtha at 12:30 PM on April 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


magic also took his position in history seriously. the work he still continues to do for hiv research and acceptance of those with a positive status is really something to behold. there were a lot of ways he could have responded, but he's gone with face up and forward. had we not mostly gotten over aids panic, the steps we taken towards gay rights would have been delayed even more.
posted by nadawi at 12:30 PM on April 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


As a long-time Stanford basketball fan and long-time Jason Collins fan (one of the best, if not the best, Stanford players ever), this news really made my day. I cynically did not expect this in the NBA for another decade.

#FTheHaters
posted by mrgrimm at 12:45 PM on April 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


According to my FB feed, an ESPN journalist named Chris Broussard is on ESPN talking about how being gay is a sin. I don't have a link or anything.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:48 PM on April 29, 2013


BROUSSARD: "Personally, I don’t believe that you can live an openly homosexual lifestyle or an openly, like premarital sex between heterosexuals. If you’re openly living that type of lifestyle, then the Bible says you know them by their fruits. It says that, you know, that’s a sin. If you’re openly living in unrepentant sin, whatever it may be, not just homosexuality, whatever it maybe, I believe that’s walking in open rebellion to God and to Jesus Christ. So I would not characterize that person as a Christian because I don’t think the bible would characterize them as a Christian."
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 12:53 PM on April 29, 2013


Here's a link to Broussard on ESPN.

Worth noting that ESPN had to know that Broussard would say what he said. His views on this are well established. Maybe they've wanted to fire him for awhile and are setting him up? Or maybe they are just controversy-mongering.
posted by AceRock at 12:54 PM on April 29, 2013


It's headline news at every major news site. It's a barely-visible item in the sidebar at ESPN.

It's the main story on ESPN.com right now, at least.

According to my FB feed, an ESPN journalist named Chris Broussard is on ESPN talking about how being gay is a sin. I don't have a link or anything.

*sigh* Hopefully soon ex-ESPN journalist Chris Broussard.
posted by kmz at 12:55 PM on April 29, 2013


AceRock: "Or maybe they are just controversy-mongering."

Entertainment news networks gotta entertain...
posted by Xoder at 12:56 PM on April 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


I wonder if it makes Broussard uncomfortable when people are "openly" divorced as well.

And more importantly, good for Jason Collins, I'm glad he doesn't have to live with that secret.
posted by thankyouforyourconsideration at 12:56 PM on April 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


they totally knew he was going to say that. he's been outspoken about gays for a long time. now fools on twitter talking about how if we really believed in tolerance we'd applaud broussard for speaking his views. i wonder if broussard has tolerance for segregation academies - i mean, those people were just following what they interpreted the bible to say...
posted by nadawi at 12:58 PM on April 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Metta World Peace's Reaction To Jason Collins Coming Out Is The Best
posted by zombieflanders at 12:59 PM on April 29, 2013 [7 favorites]


now fools on twitter talking about how if we really believed in tolerance we'd applaud broussard for speaking his views.

Ah, yes, the inevitable and almost quaintly stupid "how dare you be intolerant of intolerance?!" dodge. Right on schedule!
posted by scody at 1:03 PM on April 29, 2013 [11 favorites]


For a few minutes, let's just be happy for Jason Collins.
posted by Groundhog Week at 1:03 PM on April 29, 2013 [6 favorites]


I went to Stanford at the same time as Jason and Jaron, and though I didn't know the Collins more than passing through a couple of classes - congrats and I hope this goes better than anyone could have expected.
posted by shinynewnick at 1:07 PM on April 29, 2013


Another great detail: Jason Segel was the Collins brothers' back-up center/power-forward in high school!
posted by AceRock at 1:10 PM on April 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


According to my FB feed, an ESPN journalist named Chris Broussard is on ESPN talking about how being gay is a sin. I don't have a link or anything.

ESPN's Chris Broussard Says Being Gay Is "An Open Rebellion To God"

Excellent screencap.

on preview: oops.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:13 PM on April 29, 2013


How much time does Broussard spend criticizing athletes who fornicate and stuff? Like, the heterosexual non-married kind of fornicating. If he's just going to pick on Collins because homosexuality is a special sin, he should especially shut up.
posted by rtha at 1:17 PM on April 29, 2013 [5 favorites]


Here's the question Broussard was asked: "He mentioned, in his article, Jason, that he is a Christian as well. So what's your take on that?"

Leaving aside whether we agree with Broussard's views (I find them reprehensible), why the heck is a SportsCenter anchor leading a discussion about whether homosexuality is compatible with being a Christian? And should a person really be fired from their job for answering honestly when asked on-air about his religious views? This is just bad all around.
posted by BobbyVan at 1:18 PM on April 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Chris Broussard himself points out that pre-marital heterosexual sex is also a sin and even chooses to quote "you'll know them by their fruits." It's fortunate that no professional athletes have children out of wedlock or there would be a really obvious joke to make.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:19 PM on April 29, 2013 [6 favorites]


And should a person really be fired from their job for answering honestly when asked on-air about his religious views?

What if he said "interracial marriage is an affront to God" or "women in the workplace are openly rebelling against God" or "Catholics are offensive in the eyes of Jesus"?
posted by kmz at 1:21 PM on April 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


And also, fuck yeah LZ Granderson for being an already out correspondent for ESPN for the last 3 or 4 years. Because having somebody out there to respond to dumbasses like Broussard is exactly what moves the ball that much more forward in moments like this.
(sports metaphor!)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:22 PM on April 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


I know we live in a world where they can't be avoided, but they make me very uncomfortable. I'd prefer a world where they weren't in the locker room. I know they're popular on television but it makes my skin crawl when I see them. I wish they would just lead their lives as quietly as possible and far away from my neighborhood.

I am, of course, referring to TV sports analysts.
posted by cmfletcher at 1:22 PM on April 29, 2013 [15 favorites]


i don't think broussard should be fired for this. he should be fired for being terrible at his job. if espn does want to discuss how he squares things religiously, i also wonder if his faith is compatible with working on sundays or wearing mixed fibers or hugging his wife while she's menstruating.
posted by nadawi at 1:24 PM on April 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


You know, I'm annoyed at the existence of Twitter about 96% of the time, but it really does come in handy when things like this happen, to quickly show us who is awesome and who is emphatically not.
posted by something something at 1:25 PM on April 29, 2013


It's really strange to me that both Chris Broussard and Michelle Malkin went to Oberlin. Like -- huh?
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 1:26 PM on April 29, 2013 [8 favorites]


I don't want Chris Broussard to be fired -- or even reprimanded -- because then the story becomes about him and now about Collins. Though, and I'm not typically one to question one's personal faith, at a certain point, that's often what commentators who say surprising things are looking to do. (Maybe he and Malkin took that same class at Oberlin... Trolling 252)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:36 PM on April 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


I would like to thank Chris Broussard for coming out and saying what he did when he did. In doing so he has diverted attention from Ben Shapiro, with whom I share a last name.
posted by benito.strauss at 1:50 PM on April 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


SI is collecting Twitter reactions (and so far all of them seem to be positive) here. FWIW his teammates seem supportive, if not too enamored with his jump shot.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:51 PM on April 29, 2013


I totally support Metta World Peace's choice of a Cookie Monster lifestyle.

Unlike orientation, muppethood is a choice, an awesome choice.
posted by jb at 2:24 PM on April 29, 2013 [12 favorites]


Did MWP just out himself as a furrie?
posted by mrgrimm at 2:25 PM on April 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


a leather daddy or rugby player

amazing
posted by ominous_paws at 2:26 PM on April 29, 2013


Muppets are felty, not furry. Except when they are.
posted by jb at 2:35 PM on April 29, 2013


Dolphins WR Mike Wallace Comes Out As Stupid Asshole

posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:37 PM on April 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


Like many of you, I hope for the day when a person 'comes out' and everyone just kind of yawns and shrugs and says, "yeah? so what?" or better yet a world where people don't have to 'come out' - they can always be out and not feel they have to hide who they are!

But for now, I am thrilled for Jason Collins to be so brave and find this kind of peace with himself. I literally cried when I read the article he wrote - so sincere and beautiful. I know he didn't want to be the one to raise his hand, but for all my LGBT friends and their supporters and loved ones, I'm so glad he did. I'm not going to waste my time on the small minded haters with their passive aggressive comments. LA LA LA LA LA LA I can't hear them!! Today is a great day!

I only hope there is an NBA team out there who is brave enough to sign him. THAT would really be progress.
posted by NoraCharles at 2:51 PM on April 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


I hope for the day a major network cuts to Jason's husband and Mark Cuban talking trash while sitting courtside. That'll be the day of acceptance.
posted by cmfletcher at 3:22 PM on April 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is great, but I just want to point out that Liz Carmouche recently was not only the first woman, but the first gay person to step inside the UFC's Octagon. I know mixed martial arts isn't quite on the same level as American football or basketball, but she was a gay American athlete competing in front of millions of people worldwide.
posted by averageamateur at 3:27 PM on April 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


This turned up in my Breaking News feeds and I yawned "millionaire jock comes out, whatever." But after seeing select quotes, I read the article.

I need to stop being such a bitter old crank. That was a beautifully wrought piece of writing.

@jonmc: there are still used bookstores in the East Village?
posted by miette at 3:32 PM on April 29, 2013


Judy Shepard on Collins wearing #98 as a tribute to Matthew Shepard: "It made me cry. It was really quite a tribute, and I was very honored. And I know Matt would be thrilled."
posted by scody at 3:50 PM on April 29, 2013 [6 favorites]


LA LA LA LA LA LA I can't hear them

:)
posted by dragonsi55 at 3:54 PM on April 29, 2013


If your child majors in English, you're sponsoring the militant homosexual agenda.

I'm a Canadian who majored in English and Drama in University, so I must have unknowingly sponsored not only the militant homosexual agenda but the even more vile militant socialist homosexual agenda that has never existed. I do remember some of the Engineers joking that all of us in Humanities were born from our Fathers having rogered our Mothers up the rear and the Premiere of the Province of Ontario saying the Humanities were basically useless so I'm not surprised such attitudes still survive.

I am not surprised that it has happened first amongst what are considered the major sports or the big four (Baseball, Basketball, Football, Hockey) in Basketball since the league has been fairly socially progressive for some time now.

As for ESPN. I've seen the guys on Pardon the Interruption be very supportive of gay players and coming out so ESPN has a spectrum of people working for it I suspect.
posted by juiceCake at 4:52 PM on April 29, 2013


More from Martina:
When I came out, in 1981, I didn't have much public support and I know I lost endorsements. But I never had to worry about losing my job. [...] For team sports athletes, this is not the case. A homophobic coach at any level -- high school, college or pros -- could keep a player from playing. Remember Rene Portland, the women's basketball coach at Penn State? She proudly boasted she would not allow a lesbian on her team. In the past, that kind of homophobia would have had support from the front office. [...]

But the times changed. Boy, did they ever change.

Any revolution starts with a small step. As I see it, this one started with Vikings punter Chris Kluwe and his R-rated (but darn smart and funny) editorial on Deadspin last year. That was a catalyst because it then became clear: Straight players were standing in support of gays in general -- and their gay teammates, whoever they might be. Those gay athletes might have been deeply closeted, but there was unspoken acknowledgement: We know you exist. Kluwe wasn't shunned or ridiculed for his stance. The tables turned. It was the homophobes who were left standing in the cold, scorned and criticized by fans and the media. How is that for a turnaround in, relatively speaking, a very short time?
posted by scody at 4:52 PM on April 29, 2013 [8 favorites]


So I'm a grown ass gay adult who has been out more than half his life (math that shocked me lately so I apologize if I keep mentioning it) who is well aware of the political and social issues facing the gay community -- so why do I still need Martina to tell me when something is a game-changer?

(On re-read that sounds very snarky. I meant it seriously. It becomes a much bigger deal when she says it is and I can't figure out why.)

Meanwhile, I just had a dinner conversation with my partner where he asked if I thought Collins's timing would help or hinder his free agency, which I found shocking. But only because he said the term "free agent" and knew what it meant.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 5:20 PM on April 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Meanwhile, I just had a dinner conversation with my partner where he asked if I thought Collins's timing would help or hinder his free agency, which I found shocking. But only because he said the term "free agent" and knew what it meant.

Wait, he is currently a free agent? I am about on a level with your partner, it sounds like, in general sporting knowledge, but I know what it means (at least I think. On second thought, probably not like most)....if that's the case, it makes him even ballsier.
posted by nevercalm at 5:41 PM on April 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


For a story earlier this year on 49ers' fans, SI ran this picture of gay fans celebrating when the Niners clinched a spot in the Super Bowl.
posted by stargell at 5:57 PM on April 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


so why do I still need Martina to tell me when something is a game-changer?

Clearly, you don't. Maybe some people do. Maybe no one does. Maybe it's not a matter of people needing Martina to tell them as much as it's a matter of Martina needing to say it. I feel that way sometimes too; I feel the need to say things on MetaFilter, regardless of whether anyone else needs (or wants) to hear it. It's just that Martina happens to have a much larger audience than I do.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 6:59 PM on April 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Great article. Bravo, Jason Collins. I'm especially gratified to see the overwhelming amount of support he's gotten, from teammates to fans to the President and First Lady. Tell me that would have happened ten years ago - or even five years ago.

Fun fact: This morning, just after the news broke, Jason Collins had less than 4,000 followers on Twitter. He now has 78,624 and counting.
posted by SisterHavana at 10:32 PM on April 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


So, the President of the United States of America called a professional athlete to congratulate him on coming out of the closet, and to offer his support.

You know, the modern world and I get along pretty well sometimes.

Also, the Red Sox want him to come back to Boston to throw the ceremonial first pitch at a Fenway game. It's turning out to be a great year to root for the Sawx.
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:10 AM on April 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


I always like hearing the stories behind the numbers players choose to wear. A few people have already mentioned that Collins chose the number 98 as a tribute to Matthew Shepard, but his full explanation is really special, especially the last sentence.
A college classmate tried to persuade me to come out then and there. But I couldn't yet. My one small gesture of solidarity was to wear jersey number 98 with the Celtics and then the Wizards. The number has great significance to the gay community. One of the most notorious antigay hate crimes occurred in 1998. Matthew Shepard, a University of Wyoming student, was kidnapped, tortured and lashed to a prairie fence. He died five days after he was finally found. That same year the Trevor Project was founded. This amazing organization provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention to kids struggling with their sexual identity. Trust me, I know that struggle. I've struggled with some insane logic. When I put on my jersey I was making a statement to myself, my family and my friends.
Also, it's been less than a month since this happened:

Phil Jackson, Retired NBA Coach, Says He's 'Never Run Into' A Gay Basketball Player
When asked if the organizations needed to be more inclusive towards gay players, the 11-time NBA champion coach called the question "ridiculous," before noting, "There's no inclusiveness to be had."
Needs more less Zen. (Seriously Phil, WTF?)
posted by Room 641-A at 5:40 AM on April 30, 2013


The Slate sports podcast "Hang Up and Listen" interviewed Franz Lids, the SI reporter who interviewed Collins, and includes the story of when he read the piece for the first time. His parents were there. Spoiler: there were tears.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 5:52 AM on April 30, 2013


I love Buzzfeed's graphic of (some) out lesbian athletes! Not one of these women got a call from the president.
posted by Carol Anne at 6:33 AM on April 30, 2013


Nice turn of phrase from Charles P. Pierce in his Grantland piece:
"Let us be, for lack of a better word, Christian enough not to make out of Collins's undeniably brave decision to announce that he is gay the vessel into which we pour enough of our own precious tolerance to admire ourselves in its reflection."
posted by Trochanter at 8:38 AM on April 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


The uniform number 98 thing is interesting. I wonder how long until OutSports (or anyone really) cross-references major league athletes in the last 15 years who've worn the number 98 with gay rumors...
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:06 AM on April 30, 2013


And the answer is: no one. No one wears that number, really. Eh, well.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:14 AM on April 30, 2013


It's nice to see the vehement (via Facebook comment) reactions to former Brewers pitcher Mark Knudson's op-ed where he says, "it remains the best option for any homosexual athlete in a team sport to keep his orientation private. He’s doing what’s best for himself by doing what’s best for the team."
posted by mrgrimm at 10:44 AM on April 30, 2013


And the answer is: no one. No one wears that number, really. Eh, well.

Robert Mathis wears 98.
posted by nathancaswell at 10:47 AM on April 30, 2013


Oh and so does Nick Fairley.
posted by nathancaswell at 10:49 AM on April 30, 2013


And Brian Orakpo.

I watch a lot of football.
posted by nathancaswell at 10:50 AM on April 30, 2013


Nice turn of phrase from Charles P. Pierce in his Grantland piece:

Here's a functional link. ;)

"There literally are thousands of gay athletes, at every level of sports, from Legion baseball all the way to the majors and back again, from high school football teams in west Texas all the way to the NFL. We just don't know who they are yet, and it would be considerably more dangerous for a center on a Christian academy basketball team in Kansas to come out than it was for Collins, which is the truest measure of how far we really have to go. When one of those kids comes out, and when he is supported by as many people as are now congratulating themselves for supporting Collins, then you can come talk to me about our day of jubilee."

See: moving the goalposts again. Nyah, nyah. Don't care. This is a HUGE deal.

What was also surprising to me was how Collins' aunt said that she knew years ago, but that his twin brother Jarron had no idea!

Jarron Collins: I've never been more proud of my brother

FWIW, Jason has always been head and shoulders ahead of Jarron at basketball (no disrespect to Jarron, who's a fine player himself). Jason is really one of the best ever from Stanford, like Childress/Knight level.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:54 AM on April 30, 2013


According to baseball-reference, pro basketball-reference, and hockey-reference, the only player in those 3 sports to wear number 98 in the last 15 years, besides Collins, is an Iranian-born center for the Phoenix Suns, Hamed Haddadi (he wore it this year).

Football reference doesn't have the jersey search feature, but probably a fair number of linemen have worn that number, I'm guessing.
posted by MoonOrb at 10:57 AM on April 30, 2013


"When asked if the organizations needed to be more inclusive towards gay players, the 11-time NBA champion coach called the question "ridiculous," before noting, "There's no inclusiveness to be had."
Needs more less Zen. (Seriously Phil, WTF?)
"

Jackson's a weird dude who often seems very unhappy. I've run into him a couple times while canvassing for gay rights, and a couple times he's barked to get the fuck out of his way and been, like, an egregious asshole, then another time he just slapped a $20 in my hand and stormed off.
posted by klangklangston at 10:59 AM on April 30, 2013


I watch a lot of football.

And ...

Adrian Tracy
Parys Haralson
Greg Scruggs
Aaron Morgan
Marcus Forston

I don't watch any NFL, but I know 98 is a very common number. :p

Football reference doesn't have the jersey search feature, but probably a fair number of linemen have worn that number, I'm guessing.

Seems to be defensive linemen and a few linebackers.

posted by mrgrimm at 11:00 AM on April 30, 2013


Jackson's a weird dude who often seems very unhappy. I've run into him a couple times while canvassing for gay rights, and a couple times he's barked to get the fuck out of his way and been, like, an egregious asshole, then another time he just slapped a $20 in my hand and stormed off.

Yeah, the Zen Master has been a whole lot less zen in recent years, it seems. He was generally known to be pretty friendly and cool back in Chicago when various activists approached him and worked with him (I never had any direct dealings with him when I was was an activist in Chicago myself, but I knew several people who did).

I also find his dismissive about LGBT tolerance in the league to be weird given that he was especially close to the late, lamented Bison Dele when he played for Chicago (still under the name Brian Williams at the time, I think); lots of rumors swirled about Dele's sexuality (in part, I think, because he was a pretty unconventional, bohemian sort of guy to be playing basketball), and I recall Jackson making various remarks about how the league should make room for all players regardless of whether they fit into the mold of what a professional athlete was expected to be. (And, of course, he also coached noted cross-dresser Dennis Rodman during the same period, and made plenty of "we love and accept Dennis for who he is" sort of remarks.) So, I dunno... maybe Jackson feels he already established his progressive bona fides years ago and is bored with these sorts of issues; maybe he's just become a lot crankier (and possibly less progressive) over the years.
posted by scody at 11:51 AM on April 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Church cancels LeRoy Butler's ppearance after Jason Collins tweet
posted by jillithd at 6:58 AM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


"ESPN’s Chris Broussard’s attack on homosexuality, sparked by the first coming out of a major American athlete, should not be condoned as free speech."

- "Fighting Words"
posted by mrgrimm at 8:16 AM on May 1, 2013


If you mention sin on a sports broadcast, you done fucked up.
posted by grubi at 10:30 AM on May 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


Imagine you live in a world with two kinds of people: those who are trying to live their lives, and those who are trying to hit the first people in the head with large sticks. As people start realizing they can simply wear helmets to avoid getting hit with sticks, the people with the sticks switch to verbal assault about how stupid helmet wearers look in their helmets, and how weak they must be to need a helmet to protect themselves from sticks.
posted by davejay at 2:12 PM on May 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


they also start looking for larger sticks
posted by davejay at 2:15 PM on May 2, 2013


LeRoy Butler is an absolute class act on this matter. As much as I would love for him to mention the church who dropped him, so we could all shun them out of existence like the rabid baboons we sometimes are(and proudly so!), he manages to keep the focus on the principle of the situation.

He's apparently discussing the situation on Anderson Cooper 360 tonight -- 7 p.m. Central.

"This is what bothers me the most. They said, 'If you ask for forgiveness and remove the tweet and you say something to the effect that you don't congratulate (Collins), then we'll let you do the engagement and get the speaker's fee, and I said I'm not doing that," Butler said Wednesday. "Every gay and lesbian person will say 'You know, LeRoy doesn't speak up for the weak or the silenced. He doesn't stand for anything as a man and he did it for money.' Why would you ask me to reduce my integrity like that?

"This is a man's personal story. I've always been on the record saying if there was a gay person in the Packer locker room, I would have played with them. All I care about is if you can run and jump, and can you win Super Bowls," Butler said.

Butler said he pointed out to the church's pastor that the church's attempt to force him to back down was an example of the kind of treatment he had planned to talk about at the church.

"This is a form of bullying, what you're doing. You're trying to get me to do something I don't want to do," Butler said. "He disagreed, and I said, 'We agree to disagree,' and he said 'No, I'm right and you're wrong.' "

posted by Madamina at 2:54 PM on May 2, 2013 [6 favorites]


A Sherman Alexie article in The Stranger: Jason Collins Is the Envy of Straight Men Everywhere. Pretty funny. (some language NSFW, but no worse than what you'll find on Metafilter most days)
posted by edgeways at 12:00 PM on May 4, 2013


Back in 1977, Glenn Burke tried to come out..and nobody would have it.
Also, he invented the High-Five.
posted by QueerAngel28 at 8:25 AM on May 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


Major-league baseball player Glenn Burke was comfortably out to his teammates and friends in 1976—but back then, it was the press that wasn't ready for a gay male athlete.
posted by homunculus at 2:18 PM on May 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


Brittney Griner has a great piece in today's NYT about being out/coming out.

It’s taken me a long time to figure out exactly where I fit. During that journey, I realized that everyone has a unique place in this world. I also discovered that the more open I was with my family and friends, the more I embraced others, and the more committed I became to doing the things I love, like basketball, skating and, of course, eating bacon (the greatest food of all time), the more love and confidence I received in return.
posted by rtha at 11:58 AM on May 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


Charles Barkley says 'of course' he was on teams with gay players
posted by scody at 2:22 PM on May 7, 2013


Tea Party Congressman Attacks Obama For Calling First Openly Gay NBA Player, Wishes He’d Called Tebow Instead
posted by homunculus at 12:31 PM on May 13, 2013


Of course, because Tebow was the first professional athlete to be out about his religious beliefs and obeying the Biblical edict that praying in public where everyone can see you and take note of your piety is the thing to do!
posted by rtha at 12:37 PM on May 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


Oh, Steve King: what is the weather like on the wrong side of history, I wonder?
posted by scody at 2:03 PM on May 13, 2013


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