Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Rigging The NBA System For A Greater Societal Good

Jason Collins came out as the first male gay player in a major sports league in the United States on Monday. To myself, I am happy that barrier has been broken. People need to be allowed to be themselves freely in their lives. The more research that is out there, the more that I believe that being gay is something physiological and not a choice made. I am going to quote part of a Jason Whitlock column on Fox Sports about this subject and what is coming now.

Collins is from an awesome family. He has a twin brother. They grew up in the liberal breeding ground of Los Angeles. They were educated at one of America’s best institutions. Dr. Edwards described Stanford as a “bastion of intellectual development, an environment conducive to the development of personal courage and integrity.”

The critics and cynics are coming. Kernels of truth will be on their side.

Their kernels will be trumped by an overriding truth. Gay youths need prominent role models in all walks of life, most especially in sports. As a kid, I was the typical overconfident, insensitive, unenlightened jock bully. We belittled the kids who were different than us in ways we did not even recognize. I’m ashamed.

It’s unfair. Kids don’t choose to be gay. We need to recognize and respect the full scope of humanity. Jason Collins can help us do that. He can save lives, help confused gay kids to choose life over suicide.

I fully expect — and quite frankly I demand — David Stern to use his power to ensure that Jason Collins has a job in the NBA for 82 games next season. This is a chance for basketball to be as important as baseball in 1947.
I am ashamed of myself because I agree with the last paragraph. It is imperative that Collins is on a team next year for the NBA. Call it the greater good principle. I want him to be a Dallas Maverick. We have big stiffs each and every year, and Collins would fit well with that history.

I understand that it is not morally right to use Jason Collins as the poster boy for gay athletes. However, with the political situation that America has at the current time, using him as a bridge to eliminate an issue that divides us makes it imperative that he succeeds in playing NBA basketball for the entire 2013-2014 season. Fairness and morals be damned.


R.J. said...

I wish he could be a Spur next season. But they already have Bonner, Splitter and some kid who's now finally off the bench.

Zebster said...

Very well written, Brent.

BTW, did anyone noticed that no one (apparently) has mentioned that Shawn Jones, who happens to be black, is considered the likely #1 pick in the upcoming NHL draft? I guess kudos are deserved that we don't notice or care that a barrier of sorts might be broken in the whitest of North American sports, and I guess there's something wrong with me for noticing.

DC Homer said...

I don't know why this is a story. Saying Collins is the first gay player in a major sports league is stretching it a bit. Is he the first player to ADMIT that he's gay while he's still an active player--no. Sheryl Swoopes(WNBA) did it before him. Is he the first MALE, active, pro athlete? That's probably more true, because we KNOW that there have been a ton of pros who were gay, they just waited until after they retired to admit it:

- Wade Davis (Titans, Redskins, Seahawks)

- Jerry Smith (Redskins, 65-77)

- Simone Augustus (WNBA, Lynx)

- Chamique Holdsclaw (WNBA, Silver Stars)

- Martina Navaratilova

- Billy Jean King

- David Kopay (49ers, 75)

- Roy Simmons (Giants, Redskins, 92)

- Esera Tuaolo (Falcons, Panthers, Jags, Vikings, Packers, 02)

- Wade Davis (Titans, 12)

- Kwame Harris (49ers, Raiders, 13)

Collins definitely has courage and bravery for doing what he did, but I'm sorry, I don't consider him to be the "Jackie Robinson" of the gay pro sports world.

A quick story: My fraternity chapter unknowingly initiated a guy who immediately came out after being initiated. At a step show (sorta like a dance competition), a college chapter were doing their thing when this guy screamed (at the top of his lungs--like a girl): "Oh man, those dudes make my d*ck hard!" Now, he was standing right behind me when he did that and everyone thought it was me. I got angry, but not because he was gay, but because of his public display of a lack of self-discipline. To me, I'd be just as pissed if it were women on the stage and he yelled the same thing.

Another short story: In high school, my best friend was Steve Klear. We went different ways after graduating. When I came home from college the summer of my freshman year, I went to Steve's house, his mom said he didn't live there anymore. She said that with a "bite" that I didn't understand. When I went to his new apartment, his roommate answered the door--obviously gay--saying he was at a party up the street. It was a Saturday afternoon, so I didn't understand what "party" meant. So, I just started walking when I heard some loud music. I followed it to a hugh block party with hundreds of people dancing and eating and just having a good time! I kinda slid in and helped myself to a beer and a sandwich and just joined the crowd. That's when I noticed several "pods" of gay folks (men and women) hugging and kissing; that's when I noticed the rainbow colored "Lambda" banner hanging over the street--it was a gay pride party. COOL! Then, I suddenly saw my friend Steve through the crowd. He saw me. As I made my way towards him, he turned and disappeared. I never say him again, and learned that he died of AIDS in 1989. It seems he was ashamed to let me know he was gay.

I DON'T GIVE A DAMN! I could care less about being gay! Who you screw is your business!

So it goes with Collins' confession. Who cares?! Well, obviously a lot of people, except me!

Okay, I'm going to make a public confession right here in the Tavern: I'm officially coming out! I confess that I like to have sex with women!

(Do I get a front page?)

Brent said...

I'd give you the front page, but I don't publish a magazine.

I really don't care about who is screwing who but there is a societal double-standard between gay and straight. A straight guy can come out with the female that he is screwing and nothing is said by anybody. Watch what would happen if a gay guy did the same thing with his boyfriend.

Brent said...

And as for Shawn Jones, he is a good player, but I could care less if he is green. He is a hockey player that can be a brick in what an organization is building, no different than any other player in the draft. That is the way that I look at life.

And no, there is nothing wrong with you for noticing. Because it is a big deal. And that story will be beaten to death by the time the draft rolls around.

DC Homer said...

Couple of thoughts:

1. On being a gay athlete, I TOTALLY agree there's a double standard. We (Americans) automatically assume any association of women (sports team, or when they go to bathroom together) that they're gay. In fact, not to be gross about it, but American men don't seem to have much problem with gay women anyway, especially when it comes to porn, then being "gay" is cool! But combine the word "gay" with "men," then it's a big problem! Look at our military, sports, the workplace. Hypocrits everywhere. I acknowledge that this is a big deal as far as the news goes, it's just not a big deal to me personally. Live and let live is my motto! Seriously.

2. Black hockey players? Really? I never noticed! LOL I try my best to get my friends to go to hockey games and no matter what I tell them that there's a significant increase in Blacks playing the game, they only see hockey as a white sport and they don't go. BUT when they DO go, they're WOW'd!!!

Go figure....