orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

Opinion

May 4, 2013

Good for Jayson Collins, but he wasn't being courageous

ORANGE — It’s fine with me if NBA center Jason Collins wants to declare to the world his sexual preference.

And, as was pointed out nonstop for several days on television, radio, magazines and thousands of newspaper editorial pages, he is the first active, male player in one of the four major pro sports – baseball, football, basketball and hockey – to come out as gay. So yes, it is technically an historic moment.

It’s also fine with me if everybody wants to compliment him for “being who he is,” and all that.

But these endless declarations about how brave and courageous he is? Get serious. There is zero risk for him in doing this – none. Perhaps if he had done it 12 years ago, at the beginning of his career, instead of near the end of it, with gay marriage not even legal yet in Massachusetts, there might have been a measure of courage in it.

But at this point, it’s one of the best career moves he could have made. Coming out isn’t risky. It’s trendy, edgy. Straight is boring, gay is so very cool.

According to ad experts, he probably has bigger paydays coming from endorsement deals than he does from setting screens and blocking shots.

“It could be a very lucrative opportunity for him,” Mark Elderkin, CEO of the Gay Ad Network in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., told the Boston Herald. “The gay market is a big market, so this is a tremendous opportunity for Jason. He’s an all-around good athlete with a clean record — all the attributes of a spokesman for a national brand. And with the publicity around this, the right sponsor can take advantage of that.”

Can somebody tell me what the downside is in that?

While it is historic, it is more of a historical footnote. It’s just not that big a deal any more. Even Cher says as much. Time magazine recently carried a cover story, with a photo of two men kissing and the headline, “Gay marriage already won.”

How courageous do you have to be to say something that you know is going to get you a week-long love fest from the mainstream media and universal applause from all the beautiful people?

After Collins’ story appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated, he got a congratulatory call from President Obama, and a supportive mention in a presidential press conference. He got supportive tweets from the likes of Bill Clinton, from Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (Collins played for the Boston Celtics for part of this past season), from Celtics coach Doc Rivers, from former Celtic teammates Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, from NBA superstar Kobe Bryant and various TV and movie stars.

And we’re supposed to think this took courage? Actually, the opposite is true – it takes courage to criticize or disagree with the gay agenda.

The gay lobby is the most powerful special interest group in the country – vastly more powerful than the National Rifle Association. Various Democratic politicians strut around claiming that they “stand up to the NRA,” but they would be terrified to cross the gay lobby. Hillary Clinton recently posted a video announcing her support for gay marriage – she knew that if she didn’t, she wouldn’t have a chance to win the Democratic nomination for president in 2016.

The gay lobby’s campaign began with a demand for “tolerance,” but that quickly changed to demands for acceptance, endorsement and celebration. And while that was happening they became one of the least tolerant groups in the country.

If you dare to criticize or even disagree politely with them, your business could be in trouble, or your employer could be confronted with demands to fire you.

ESPN sportscaster Chris Broussard said he doubted that Collins’ Christian faith was genuine since he (Broussard) believed living an active homosexual life was, “openly living in unrepentant sin.”

Now there is a petition from an organization calling itself Faithful America, demanding that Broussard be suspended and that ESPN “guarantee that their network will never again be used for gay bashing.”

So, it’s laudable for Collins and other gays to “be who they are,” but Broussard deserves to be suspended from his job for being who he is – even for expressing an opinion, if it is not in line with their agenda.

They are forever characterizing those who disagree with them as “haters,” but based on what I see and read, there is much more venom coming from them than from those who quietly, without insult, disagree with them.

Yeah, there are some negative tweets out there about Collins, but they are buried in an avalanche of condemnation from those who hold the real power in politics and the media. The dissenters are, uniformly, described as knuckle-dragging “haters and bigots.”

It has been an interesting couple of decades. We still hear, when people declare that they are gay, that they have “come out of the closet.”

That is changing. No gay person needs to be in the closet any more. It will soon be those who believe living a homosexual lifestyle is wrong who will be in the closet, if they want to be employed or avoid other persecution. Petitions to suspend a sportscaster for simply expressing an opinion are just the start.

Taylor Armerding is an independent columnist. Contact him at t.armerding@verizon.net

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