I recently saw a tweet that said, and I’m paraphrasing, people told Tim Tebow to be quiet about his religion and people are now calling Jason Collins a hero. This has really made me think over the last couple days about how I feel about the announcement of Jason Collins’ sexual orientation.
Another reason I have thought about this announcement so much is the criticism that Chris Broussard is taking after expressing his opinion when asked about it on OTL on ESPN. After the comments were made, Michael Sherrard, from the liberal group Faithful America, urged supporters in a MoveOn.org email to sign a petition that calls on ESPN to discipline Broussard. I have included the video here of his controversial comments.
If you do not subscribe to Sports Illustrated here is a link to the online article titled, Why NBA Center Jason Collins is coming out now.
Jason Collins has now finished his 12th NBA season with what some may call a pretty average career. He is now a free agent and from the way I perceive his comments, still wanting to play more basketball. I referenced ESPN.com to see his career stats which are somewhat unimpressive, but his success in the NBA is not the point of my thoughts.
My thoughts reference more about why a person maybe thought of as a bigot if they openly disagree with in this case a person who is a homosexual. Dictionary.com defines a bigot as a “person who is utterly intolerant of any differing creed, belief or opinion.” Mr. Broussard was given the opportunity to express his opinion on the announcement and did so in my opinion very professionally and appropriately.
The great part about America is the right to be able to share your opinions in almost any manner. Another example I would use that relates a little bit closer to my home is the lifestyle of Jim Carlson, owner of the Last Place on Earth. He has every right to open a store, sell a legal product, and make money through his business. Do I like what he sells? No. Would I ever open a store to sell those products? No. I am utterly intolerant of his belief or opinions? No, but I do openly disagree with choices he makes.
Here are my thoughts about Jason Collins. First, I have no problem with him announcing his sexual orientation. Second, I’m happy for him to be able to play 12 years in the NBA. But maybe my most controversial comments about his announcement is more of a question. Will the NBA, or an NBA team be criticized if he does not get another contract offer for his 13th year? Will people be so shallow as to say he is not getting any contract offers because he is gay? I guess time will tell.