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First active player in a major American team sport to announce that he is gay

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posted on Apr, 29 2013 @ 11:36 AM
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I find this story to be great for obvious reasons. It's a damn shame that so many people go through their lives scared to share that they're gay. In the sports world in america it's definitely an issue, and many athletes have come out in recent memory stating that a gay teammate wouldn't be allowed in the locker room. Well, progress and change happened today when Jason Collins (active NBA Center) decided to tell the world he was gay.




NBA center Jason Collins on Monday announced that he's gay in a story for Sports Illustrated, becoming the first active player in a major American team sport to announce that he is gay.



"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," Collins wrote. "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."



NBA commissioner David Stern commended Collins for his announcement.



"As Adam Silver and I said to Jason, we have known the Collins family since Jason and Jarron joined the NBA in 2001 and they have been exemplary members of the NBA family. Jason has been a widely respected player and teammate throughout his career and we are proud he has assumed the leadership mantle on this very important issue," Stern said in a statement.


Read the rest of the story

Earlier this year, during Super Bowl week, San Francisco 49ers defensive player Chris Culliver stated that gay teammates wouldn't be welcome in the locker room, when asked about gay players in an interview...That's just one example of how athletes have reacted in the past towards gay teammates. Lots of players have come out after their respective careers ended, but they all said the same thing, they would never do it as a pro because they were worried it would jeopardize their career. Today, Jason Collins was the first athlete to take that leap of faith and I gotta say great job to him! I hope more athletes follow in the near future... Its 2013, I wish people were more accepting and I wish these gay athletes weren't so scared to come out....

I applaud you Jason Collins for what you did today!
edit on 29-4-2013 by jhn7537 because: (no reason given)
edit on 29-4-2013 by jhn7537 because: (no reason given)




posted on Apr, 29 2013 @ 12:02 PM
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reply to post by jhn7537
 


Well, he should be happy in his own locker room. Afterall, it is not the difference in appearance of our sexual parts that constitutes different restrooms for men and women. It is to eliminate sexual tensions/fouls that may arise when people of two different "interest" are in a situation where there may be one or the other vulnerable or tempted.
What I am saying is, the restrooms/locker rooms aren't seperated just because we (male/female) look different.
edit on 29-4-2013 by Turkenstein because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 29 2013 @ 12:20 PM
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reply to post by Turkenstein
 


Sports stories are honestly meaningless on ATS... Not even sure why I posted this story now....



posted on Apr, 29 2013 @ 12:44 PM
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I find it to be fantastic. 15 years ago, had be come out, he would have been forced out of the league.

Its one of the few good signs for our society that people are becoming more and more able to be who they are, and not have to hide in shame.



posted on Apr, 29 2013 @ 12:49 PM
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Originally posted by captaintyinknots
I find it to be fantastic. 15 years ago, had be come out, he would have been forced out of the league.

Its one of the few good signs for our society that people are becoming more and more able to be who they are, and not have to hide in shame.


It still amazes me that its 2013 and were just now seeing a person come out. I'm very accepting of any and everyone so I sometimes look at situations with blinders on ignoring all the ignorant that are out there. I really hope he's not left out there alone, I hope that more athletes feel confident enough to come out, and I hope they are accepted by their teammates and the rest of the world...



posted on Apr, 29 2013 @ 12:50 PM
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reply to post by jhn7537
 


Rumor has it that there will be a few NFL players to come out over the next month or two. This can only help others to feel safe in doing so.

Very brave man.



posted on Apr, 29 2013 @ 01:39 PM
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Originally posted by jhn7537
reply to post by Turkenstein
 


Sports stories are honestly meaningless on ATS... Not even sure why I posted this story now....



Yea, your right! Hence the lack of posts



posted on Apr, 29 2013 @ 02:37 PM
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He'll probably get a lot of kidding hazing from his teammates, but this is so mainstream now I'm surprised it took this long for a major athlete to announce. Just wait until he starts getting jeers on the court from jerks, and the whole league will rally around him.



posted on Apr, 29 2013 @ 06:19 PM
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I am usually the last to understand things, so bear with me. What I don't understand is the "Why?" part. Not the reason for his announcement, but why is it receiving nearly unanimous approval?

Everyone knows there are gays in the US, even how many (about 2-5%). We also know that gay activity is not illegal and that some states have given their official approval to gay marriage. Is anyone surprised that, out of 450 players in the NBA, one has announced his gayness? (Gaiety? I will never forgive the movement for destroying a perfectly good and useful word.) This announcement doesn't do anything new.

So why the Hosanahs? The only conclusion I can reach is that this serves the purposes of the movement to find gay role models for people to emulate or admire. Why, otherwise, would any one care about his sexual preference?

So, again, what I don't understand is why everyone so excited about the announcement.



posted on Apr, 29 2013 @ 06:27 PM
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reply to post by charles1952
 


The thing that you are missing is that it is not that long ago that just rumors of your being gay could get you blackballed from leagues.

The difference is, now these people dont have to lie about it. they can feel safe in not hiding who they are.

No one SHOULD care about his sexual preference. But the bigots do. And THAT is the reason for the support.



posted on Apr, 29 2013 @ 06:56 PM
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reply to post by captaintyinknots
 

Dear captaininknots,

Thanks for your explanation, much appreciated. But, as I say, I'm slow.

The thing that you are missing is that it is not that long ago that just rumors of your being gay could get you blackballed from leagues.

The difference is, now these people dont have to lie about it. they can feel safe in not hiding who they are.
So, somewhere along the line it became safe to be a gay athlete, and now that it is safe, the announcement is made. I agree that it is a first, but it certainly isn't Rosa Parks heroism. I'll bet anything that he gets a ton less flak than Tim Tebow did for his open Christianity.


No one SHOULD care about his sexual preference. But the bigots do. And THAT is the reason for the support.
I hope that this reduces bigotry, but I don't see why it should. Will bigots stop being bigots or become less bigoted because a Black basketball player says he's gay? (I mentioned Black, because I don't know whether the bigots are upset about that, too.) My opinion isn't worth much in these matters, but it seems more like a publicity stunt than anything else.

With respect,
Charles1952



posted on Apr, 29 2013 @ 07:15 PM
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reply to post by charles1952
 





So, somewhere along the line it became safe to be a gay athlete, and now that it is safe, the announcement is made. I agree that it is a first, but it certainly isn't Rosa Parks heroism. I'll bet anything that he gets a ton less flak than Tim Tebow did for his open Christianity.
Ill agree, this isnt Rosa Parks. It isnt Jackie Robinson. But it is still an important barrier to break. Im not so sure he will get less flack than Tebo....though, I cannot imagine he will be as outspoken as Tebow, so it is possible.




I hope that this reduces bigotry, but I don't see why it should. Will bigots stop being bigots or become less bigoted because a Black basketball player says he's gay? (I mentioned Black, because I don't know whether the bigots are upset about that, too.) My opinion isn't worth much in these matters, but it seems more like a publicity stunt than anything else.
I think the biggest thing is just breaking that barrier. It wont stop bigots from being bigots, but if someone who is not sure if it is safe to be who they are, and sees this, it might give them some courage to not be afraid.

The truth is, this should not be news, at all. And I hope we get to that point very soon. But Someone had to be the first to come out, and im glad its finally over.

As for being a publicity stunt, that is always possible, though, if you check out the interview, it sure doesnt come off that way. It seems to me that he mostly came out because he wants to start a family, and there was no way to continue to hide it at that point.



posted on Apr, 29 2013 @ 07:23 PM
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I think it's great that it's an African-American.

Despite their Civil Rights struggle, it's still often difficult for black homosexuals to be accepted within their own community. For instance, many black churches oppose Gay marriage.

Of course there are exceptions, I'm just speaking generally.

reply to post by Turkenstein
 


Geez, well, he's had a long career without molesting his team mates.
edit on 4/29/2013 by kosmicjack because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 29 2013 @ 07:31 PM
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reply to post by charles1952
 


I get what you are saying.

I am personally sick of hearing about everyone's sexuality -gay or straight.


However, it's a process of self-actualization that compassionate people everywhere can sympathize with.

But yeah, I look forward to a day when it's just so matter of fact that I don't have to worry about diving for the remote when my kids are in the room.

People should NOT have to hide who they are, but I also feel that, as a society, we are far too open with our personal lives and much too voyeuristic of others.



posted on Apr, 29 2013 @ 08:09 PM
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reply to post by Aleister
 


Saying something is one thing, but feeling "ok" about it, is quite another.

Personally, if I were a gay athlete, the locker room would be an "exciting" experience. I don't see why not. Handsome muscular men walking around nude. Seems stimulating.

Of course, as a libertarian, I wouldn't interfere or comment on another persons life choices; but at the same time, I could understand the awkwardness other male athletes would feel when in the locker room with someone they know is gay. You can try as hard as you like to hammer it in: Don't Feel that way! But I'm sorry, it's awkward, and a tad uncomfortable. This doesn't mean I wont maintain a respectful and friendly relationship with that person, but it is also ok to feel uncomfortable with it.

I'm a little sick of a society that not only wants to change the way you act, but also the way you feel about things.

It's my duty and responsibility as a citizen to treat others with respect, regardless of their sexual orientation. But it is most assuredly not the media, government, or intelligentsias prerogative to dictate to me a moral viewpoint that doesn't jibe with my philosophical worldview. And perhaps, that is what makes this so distasteful.

I am happy, to a degree, that Jarron Collins feels relieved. My cousin is gay, and all the time I have to 'put up' with things that I otherwise disapprove of. But, its a compromise I have to make. My love for him trumps my disapproval for his life choice. And yes - it is a choice. With all the wondrous advances in neuroscience and in understanding the mind boggling plasticity of the human brian, it is downright scandalous that people are claiming that homosexuality is a 'genetic" permanency. If the brain can rewire its motor cortex after serious injury, than there is no shadow of a freaking doubt - nay, some neuroscientists are veritably perturbed with the politicization going on around this subject - that the hypothalamus, which deals with our sexual feelings, can be tweaked through cognitive therapy. This is completely beyond dispute.

So, to return. Given sexual preference is a choice, a choice which is motivated by a genetic predisposition (which can be altered through cognitive therapy), than ultimately, this is a philosophical issue, not a moral.

By telling people "what is morally right", they are in fact subverting your ability to understand the world in any other way besides the one which this moral decision supports.

What, you might be wondering, would compel me to oppose homosexuality? There are many ways to approach a moral situation, be it from a perspective of the immediate benefit (the gay persons relief), and so his good, or, from a metaphysical angle. Metaphysically, I believe the world works along the premise of a perfect asymmetry: between male and female energies. I believe all constructive relationships operate from this organizing principle. All things can be reduced to a male-female relationship, which is intrinsically asymmetrical. The sky and the Earth, the brain and the body, or the transcendent Creator and His Creation - they fit together. From this vantage point, homosexuality - which ultimately, from the perspective of a free will, is a CHOICE - is an aberration, a deviation from the natural condition of perfect asymmetry.

So, depending on what your perspective is - from the earthly, unconcerned with any possible meaning to the forms the world takes on - or from the perspective of the divine, to a possible ontological meaning to the dynamics of our reality, from there, we come to disagree.

Life ultimately cant be reduced to this or that. Love - my love for my cousin - should take precedence to my belief in a higher metaphysical purpose to the way things are. So, paradoxically, I can ignore, even respect and interact with gay people, but I do so knowing that I ultimately disapprove.

What's sad is that so many people are fully willing to forgo, or simply ignore, the existence of significance of a metaphysical principle called perfect asymmetry. For me, it would be a loss to renounce this view, because, despite my love for my cousin and my desire to maintain a strong relationship with him, I can't turn my back to what I see clearly indicated in natures dynamics. It would be a lie; it would be self delusion. So, I accept the compromise. It doesn't have to be this or that, but can be both.



posted on Apr, 29 2013 @ 09:04 PM
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All right, I admit it, there is no possible way to follow a dontreally post. So let me switch far away from his exalted heights and try for something a little more mundane.

I was flying past Drudge and this caught my eye:
www.reuters.com...

A journeyman who has played for six teams and appeared in two NBA finals, Collins basketball resume will now be summed up in one word - "gay."

Over 713 career games Collins averaged 3.6 points and 3.8 rebounds but in the end his words will carry more weight than any of his statistics.
Let me engage in some far-fetched fantasy. I don't know what the average basketball player is like, but six teams in twelve years and both points and rebounds under four sounds pretty light to me.

Is his career coming to an end? If so, does this announcement help or hurt him? From the same Reuters article:

Some of the NBA's biggest names, including former most valuable player Kobe Bryant offered support, making it clear he would welcome Collins as a teammate, but no team has yet stepped forward with a contract offer.

But the 34-year-old is also on the downside of his career and any potential team will have to balance what Collins can contribute against the distraction he will bring.

Given the significance of Monday's events, the NBA is also likely to feel some heat to get Collins signed and into a training camp next season or face questions about the league's attitudes towards gay athletes.
I can't know what his intentions were, but the article claims that his announcement will give him a slightly better chance to play another year.

If he doesn't get signed, he won't have to worry about any locker room mistreatment, and can claim, if he wants, that he is being discriminated against. Meanwhile, millions of people call him a hero, something that likely few did while he was playing basketball.



posted on Apr, 30 2013 @ 12:57 AM
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reply to post by charles1952
 


Umm, Jason Collins (or his brother, Jarron) has been out of the swing of things for at least the last two seasons, so I doubt he did this for the publicity.

Nor would it likely garner him a contract. Teams sign contracts either to: a) increase the chances of winning games or b) increase the chances of selling tickets. Going to see a gay basketball player simply doesn't have the same appeal as the possibility of a female player like Britney Griner playing in the NBA (as Mavs owner Mark Cuban has been flirting with, obviously as a ploy to sell tickets).

That only leaves the possibility that his "coming out" really was for the reasons that he stated.

As for what you're complaining about. Maybe my posts are a bit cerebral - I want people to understand where I'm coming from in my opposition, which requires a bit of lengthy explanation - but complaining about young people looking up to Jason Collins as a hero without providing a reason for why that would be a bad thing isn't exactly well thought out. Perhaps sharpening your mental tools and cooling it with the self-deprecating "I'm not very smart" comments would prove helpful


So why would looking up to Jason Collins be a bad thing? To many, he IS a hero, and he deserves to be seen as one because what he is doing does break down certain cultural barriers.

Now, as for me, I have given a legible, albeit, philosophically abstract reasoning for why being blase about what people do would - for me - be a problem. You may not agree, or understand, nevertheless, theres a legitimate reasoning for why someone would and could oppose homosexuality.

In fact, not to toot my own horn, but it would be nice to see someone else giving an intellectual i.e. philosophically sound basis for their otherwise bigoted opposition to homosexuality. Simply saying: it's against my beliefs, just lets us know how superficially dogmatic you can be. But clarifying your position through well reasoned discourse, I think, is intellectually appetizing.

To just extend my post a little longer. Most if not all religion has it's theoretical philosophical basis - even Christianity. Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, behind the glitz and glamour of the narrative stories, statues and masks, there is an implied philosophy). Similarly, opposition to homosexuality imply (some as of yet unrecognized) philosophical positions.



posted on Apr, 30 2013 @ 01:48 AM
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reply to post by dontreally
 

Dear dontreally,

If I was a better writer I wouldn't have caused the confusion I obviously did. That is not intended to be a self-deprecating comment, but a realistic observation.

I was not complaining about your posts, I was admiring them. I have to admit I'm fairly lengthy myself. It allows readers more ideas and arguments to respond to. Further, I'm not complaining about young people looking up to him as a role model, I was trying to point out that the movement will want to use him in that way.

Umm, Jason Collins (or his brother, Jarron) has been out of the swing of things for at least the last two seasons, so I doubt he did this for the publicity.
I wasn't aware of that, thank you. Then what does the headline of the thread mean when he is described as an "active player?"

Nor would it likely garner him a contract. Teams sign contracts either to: a) increase the chances of winning games or b) increase the chances of selling tickets. Going to see a gay basketball player simply doesn't have the same appeal as the possibility of a female player like Britney Griner playing in the NBA (as Mavs owner Mark Cuban has been flirting with, obviously as a ploy to sell tickets).
Jackie Robinson was hired because Rickey wanted to integrate baseball, and Robinson was the best candidate. Businesses spend money in donations to show they aren't bigoted, or avoid threats of boycotts. I am not saying that Collins will be hired, in part, because of his preferences, but it is not impossible. Certainly in other fields besides sports, people have been hired because of their characteristics rather than their abilities.

To many, he IS a hero, and he deserves to be seen as one because what he is doing does break down certain cultural barriers.
What cultural barriers? That there can be no gay men in Basketball? I've never heard of that one. And if he does break that down, to what effect? Who will be saved from bigotry because of his announcement? If he is a hero for breaking down a cultural barrier, shouldn't he be more of a hero for breaking lots of cultural barriers? Or as you suggest, are there "certain" barriers that should be broken and others that should be maintained? It would be interesting to see the criteria for determining "unbreakable" cultural barriers.

I am not opposed to homosexuality. I am opposed to homosexual activity and marriage. If nothing else, it is a less healthy activity than heterosexual activity. There are also psychological and social factors to consider.

I do hope that this has been a little more clear. I have a lot of respect for your abilities, and believe that communicating with you is a good thing.

With respect,
Charles1952



posted on Apr, 30 2013 @ 05:38 AM
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Originally posted by dontreally
reply to post by Aleister
 



I am happy, to a degree, that Jarron Collins feels relieved. My cousin is gay, and all the time I have to 'put up' with things that I otherwise disapprove of. But, its a compromise I have to make. My love for him trumps my disapproval for his life choice. And yes - it is a choice. With all the wondrous advances in neuroscience and in understanding the mind boggling plasticity of the human brian, it is downright scandalous that people are claiming that homosexuality is a 'genetic" permanency. If the brain can rewire its motor cortex after serious injury, than there is no shadow of a freaking doubt - nay, some neuroscientists are veritably perturbed with the politicization going on around this subject - that the hypothalamus, which deals with our sexual feelings, can be tweaked through cognitive therapy. This is completely beyond dispute.


Really? So you really believe that if you so choose, you can switch your own sexual preference through cognitive therapy and become a homosexual? Can you provide an example of a neuroscientist who has been 100 percent successful in switching someone's sexual orientation permanently through cognitive therapy? Please don't give me Michelle Bachman's husband as an example, or any of those religious based groups that have done more harm than good.



What, you might be wondering, would compel me to oppose homosexuality? There are many ways to approach a moral situation, be it from a perspective of the immediate benefit (the gay persons relief), and so his good, or, from a metaphysical angle. Metaphysically, I believe the world works along the premise of a perfect asymmetry: between male and female energies. I believe all constructive relationships operate from this organizing principle. All things can be reduced to a male-female relationship, which is intrinsically asymmetrical.


I think relationships are much more complicated than what you describe, because people are much more complicated - metaphysically speaking. I know a heterosexual couple where both people have very male energies. They get along fine. I know a quite a few homosexual couples where one person has a more feminine energy, and the other has a more masculine energy. So, there's your metaphysical "perfect asymmetry".

You can spout fancy metaphysical phrases all you want, but the fact is, you just personally find the idea of homosexual activity "icky". That's okay -- it's not my thing either -- I am a straight woman, so the idea of gay sex is a turn-off to me personally. But you will never find a person who fights harder for equality and respect for the gay population than me. Gays don't want you to be turned on by their sexual activity - they just want to be respected as valuable members of society with contributions of their own.



posted on Apr, 30 2013 @ 07:16 AM
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reply to post by jhn7537
 


I was glad to hear of the first major player to come out. The reason it's a "big deal" (although I agree, it's no Rosa Parks moment) is because people are assumed to be heterosexual. If I were a gay man, and it was as unaccepted as it is still today, especially in the major sports fields, it would be difficult to say:

"Hey, I'm gay. Please stop assuming that I'm straight. Please stop setting me up with women. Please stop asking me when I'm going to get married or why I don't bring a date to our functions... Stop pointing out pretty women and encouraging me to admire them. I'm not into it. And if I tell you that I'm gay, please don't act differently around me. Please don't think I'm looking at your junk - I haven't been before now because that's not cool, so I'm not going to start. Please don't let it affect our friendship, don't tell me I'm going to hell or try to get me to "change". Please... just accept me for who I am and let's move on."

reply to post by charles1952
 


It's receiving nearly unanimous approval because most people realize that it's absolutely natural. The reason people are excited is that gay people have been forced to "hide" who they are. They are pressured to "pass" for straight. To PRETEND to be like the majority and to be ashamed of who they are and who they love.

There WILL be a day when it doesn't matter and "coming out" won't exist, because there will not be a reason to "hide" in the closet in the first place. Gay people won't be shamed and made fun of and bullied in school for being effeminate. They will be assumed to be gay and if they're not, it won't be a big deal. Being gay will be no different from being straight, so no judgments will be made either way... Of course there will always be the holdouts who make negative judgments, but the vast majority of people will just take it in stride.

That's what I want. That's why it's exciting. If you want someone's sexuality to be a non-event, you should be excited too. Because what we're seeing now is the beginning.


But that day is not here yet. ESPN's Chris Broussard said this about Collins' announcement:



”If you’re openly living that type of lifestyle, the Bible says you know them by their fruits, it says that’s a sin. If you’re openly living in unrepentant sin, whatever it may be, not just homosexuality, adultery, fornication, premarital sex between heterosexuals, whatever it may be. I think that’s walking in open rebellion to God and to Jesus Christ. I would not characterize that person as a Christian because I don’t think the Bible would characterize them as a Christian.”


It's fine for him to have a personal opinion, but how many other sports figures has he judged on-air for not being a Christian because of their various "sins"? He's a sports announcer, not a minister.

As the Captain mentioned, I also heard that several members of the NFL are poised to come out and how the nation responds to Collins' announcement will set the stage for them. It's an exciting time.


reply to post by charles1952
 



Originally posted by charles1952
I am not opposed to homosexuality. I am opposed to homosexual activity and marriage.


That's just word-smithing. Like saying, I'm not opposed to adultery. I'm just opposed to adulterous activity...
Don't get it twisted. It's OK if you are opposed to homosexuality.
Everyone has their opinions. But the shift of the nation toward acceptance and equality IS happening. And it's happening now. And you're watching it unfold.
edit on 4/30/2013 by Benevolent Heretic because: (no reason given)






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