All 13 of my hats are off to NBA Vet Jason Collins, who became the first active pro-athlete in all four major sports leagues to publicly come out at gay.
If you haven’t read the actual article with Collins, which is in the May 6 issue of Sports Illustrated, you can view it here:
I applaud him, not for the bravery to come out, but for the strength to hold it together for 34 years personally and for the past 12 years publicly. It must have been one hell of an uphill battle for him. It also made me happy to hear that his aunt, the first person he came out to, immediately made him feel comfortable with it, telling him “I’ve known you were gay for years”. Having had a similar situation with a relative myself, I know how much tension is immediately released when someone says this.
This is just another small reaffirmation that the LGBTQ community is here, has been here, and will be here.
Broussard was asked how he felt about Collins coming out and proclaiming that he’s a Christian in the SI article. He responded with a guided statement about all sinful acts being against the religion and he doesn’t believe that Collins, or anyone that commits sins, can actively claim to be a Christian.
I like to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, so he has it here, BUT… I do believe that there is a time and a place for everything. With the entire world knowing that this is a very touchy subject in the status quo, and him being on camera worldwide, I think the way he worded the argument (notice I called it a guided statement, earlier) was great, but the argument itself could’ve been avoided. The comments caused a media uproar and prompted ESPN to issue a statement, distancing itself from Broussard’s personal views:
We regret that a respectful discussion of personal viewpoints became a distraction from today’s news. ESPN is fully committed to diversity and welcomes Jason Collins’ announcement.
I DO NOT fault him for speaking his mind and speaking it honestly. After all, honesty is the best policy, but it can also be very brutal, depending on the situation. He obviously realized this, because after day’s end, this statement appeared from Broussard via Twitter:
Today on OTL, as part of a larger, wide-ranging discussion on today’s news, I offered my personal opinion as it relates to Christianity, a point of view that I have expressed publicly before,” he tweeted. Saying that he respected those who disagree with him he added, “As has been the case in the past, my beliefs have not and will not impact my ability to report on the NBA. I believe Jason Collins displayed bravery with his announcement today and I have no objection to him or anyone else playing in the NBA.
With all of this said, once again, my hat is off to you Jason Collins. The support for you has been tremendous and I hope from this moment, it will always outweigh the negative. Congrats dude. You’re free.
- Sports community shows support for Jason Collins (districtsportspage.com)
- Chris Broussard Discusses Jason Collins Coming out and Religion on ESPN (bleacherreport.com)
- Jason Collins, RG3: ESPN Protects Chris Broussard, Fired Rob Parker (footballreportersonline.com)
- Chris Broussard Issues Statement, Says Jason Collins “Displayed Bravery” (hiphopwired.com)
- Engaging Culture: ESPN’s Chris Broussard faces media guillotine declaring homosexuality a SIN. (exministries.wordpress.com)