Full Caf Americano™
NBA center Jason Collins is gay. Which was probably not a huge shocker in the locker room. But Jason wants us to know that he has sedulously passed the lock-room test for lo these dozen years in the league. Not one incident of groping in the showers. Period. Ever. Okay, maybe a quick peek…
I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m black. And I’m gay,” Collins told Sports Illustrated in a recent interview.
“I didn’t set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. But since I am, I’m happy to start the conversation. I wish I wasn’t the kid in the classroom raising his hand and saying, “I’m different.” If I had my way, someone else would have already done this. Nobody has, which is why I’m raising my hand.
My journey of self-discovery and self-acknowledgement began in my hometown of Los Angeles and has taken me through two state high school championships, the NCAA Final Four and the Elite Eight, and nine playoffs in 12 NBA seasons. [More]
The one unifying factor when celebrities “come out,” is the obligatory press conference or interview. This always seemed to me sort of like a regular guy writing the opinion column of the local newspaper to alert the world that he has just filled his first Viagra prescription.
Barack Obama didn’t have anything more important to do, so he called Jason. Does Rahm Emanuel know? Okay, I just gave myself an imaginary slap.
Today everyone from Bill Clinton to The Rock was congratulating Collins for his courage. Let’s be clear: Coming out is not courageous; falling on a live grenade to save the lives of your comrades is courageous.
But already the thought Nazis are out in force making certain that we not only applaud Collins for his lifestyle, but that we agree with it. We do not agree that homosexuality is anything other than a moral choice. But…
WE DON’T GIVE A FLYING FLIP.
And we think most people are just as ambivalent whenever celebrities seek to draw attention to themselves by disclosing their personal business. We are not your family or your buddies, Jason, but please have a nice life.
At seven-feet-zip it is not likely many crackers with gun racks in their pickup trucks are going to be cruising Jason Collins’ neighborhood to harass him for his sexual orientation. So what is this really about? We suspect that Collins’ decision has a great deal more to do with life after the NBA than being courageous. In other words, his bank account.
After all, “self-discovery” and “self-acknowledgement” are all about self.