Collins continues path to acceptance in sports
Jason Collins, an NBA journeyman of 12 years, made the biggest move of his career Monday when he disclosed to Sports Illustrated that he is gay.Professional sports remain tied to its primitive, brutish roots and continue to be a homophobic sphere of American culture.In his coming out, Collins challenged the sports world to advance and become supportive of gay athletes who have had to live private lives for fear of being ostracized by teammates and fans.That fear is justified, as society expects professional athletes to exemplify manliness and exude testosterone through the mesh of their jerseys as if such things can be quantified like any other sports statistic.Sports analysts have declared Collins to be the first active openly gay professional athlete and have likened him to Jackie Robinson.Such comparisons are premature.Collins, a free agent, has only seen court time as a role player, may not receive another contract and does not have the name recognition that NBA superstars have. His coming out is not likely to resonate with the general public, but it is a step forward for gay athletes to be accepted in sports.Collins is not the first openly gay professional athlete. In the 1970s, Glenn Burke, an outfielder for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Oakland Athletics, was out to his team. Burke is known for inventing the high five in a game in 1977 and actually used the gesture with homosexual residents in San Francisco where it became a symbol of gay pride.Maybe more athletes would come forward and support gay athletes coming out if they realized the most ritualized gesture in sports originated in the gay community.Burke accomplished more than popularizing high fives. After the end of his career, he said people could never say a gay man could not play in the major leagues because he was gay and he made it.Collins echoed those words Monday and is the first to add to Burke’s legacy. It is only a matter of time before the next professional athletes steps up to the plate and makes a similar confession.
Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly
From Around the Web
More marshallparthenon News Articles
Recent marshallparthenon News Articles
Discuss This Article
MOST POPULAR MARSHALLPARTHENON NEWS
GET TOP STORIES DELIVERED WEEKLY
FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER
LATEST MARSHALLPARTHENON NEWS
- Meet an INTO Marshall student: Anas Alshammari
- The Herd gears up for a new season and new style
- Marshall Artists Series presents 78th lineup
- Ciccarelli named chief of police
- “America needs to let go of the fear of being politically incorrect and let...
- D’Antoni brings divergent, spread basketball offense to Marshall
- Yeager Scholar applications available
RECENT MARSHALLPARTHENON CLASSIFIEDS
FROM AROUND THE WEB
- When It Comes to Winter Roof Checkups, the Attic Is Your...
- Is It Time to Sell Your Structured Settlement for Cash?
- Pest Proof Now to Protect Homes for Winter
- 3 Fishermen Rescued at Sea Thanks to GPS Device
- Mes de la Hispanidad inspira liderazgo, empoderamiento,...
- Majority of Moms and Moms-to-Be Believe in Public...
- Wineries Speak Up About the Benefits of Using Natural Cork
- Taking a Holistic Approach to Fit Living
- Wondering if it's Time to Buy a New Car? Just Check Your...
- Smartphone to Become Wallet -- Are Customers, Businesses...
COLLEGE PRESS RELEASES
- Over 2,000 Groups Prepare to “Hit the Streets” with Volunteers and Celebrities for National Voter Registration Day on September 23, 2014
- Peace Corps Director Calls on College Students to Make a Difference After Graduation Through International Service
- USA NETWORK AND VERIZON LAUNCH THE “CHARACTERS UNITE COLLEGE TOUR” COMPETITION FOR STUDENTS TO BRING A USA NETWORK CELEBRITY AND A WORTHY CAUSE TO THEIR CAMPUS
- WHEN GEORGIA SMILED: THE ROBIN MCGRAW REVELATION FOUNDATION TEAMS WITH PIVOT AND STUDENTS OF THE WORLD TO LAUNCH THE #iASPIRE GRANT CONTEST
- Latino Groups Launch National Campaign to Deliver Record Latino Turnout for 2014 Midterm Elections