Jason Collins gets bear hug from the media for announcing he’s gay
From the moment Collins told his story in Sports Illustrated, he has been showered with praise. President Obama called him and later said at a news conference that Collins “seems like a terrific young man. And I told him I couldn’t be prouder of him,” citing Collins’s announcement as “one of the extraordinary measures of progress that we’ve seen in this country.” There were tweets of support from Michelle Obama and Bill Clinton. Several outlets compared him to Jackie Robinson as a trailblazer.
Maybe the media, and professional sports, are just several stutter-steps behind the country on this one. Americans seem to be taking the disclosure in stride. I know the news was billed as a cataclysmic event, as no male pro athlete in a major team sport had come out, so Collins deserves credit for stepping forward. But if anything, it sounds like a good career move, given the overwhelmingly positive reaction…
Maybe the media are overreacting here, and when the second, third, or fourth athlete comes out, it will be old news. But for now, he is in the spotlight, and even for those made uncomfortable by the announcement, Collins deserves to be treated with respect. That part, at least, is a slam dunk.