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Jason Collins

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Guest Dabeagle

Many of you may know that Jason Collins has just become the first out athlete still active in a major American sport. This article hilariously and truthfully tells us why Jason is the envy of straight guys everywhere.

Read it here.

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I watched a 10-minute interview with Jason Collins' fiance, and she tearfully explained that she was caught totally by surprise. Apparently despite the fact that they were together for seven years, she had no idea he was... uh... secretly playing for the other team.

Some sports pundits are opining that Collins' motives may have been financial. Already, Nike and several other sponsors have indicated that they've been looking for a gay athlete to represent their brand for certain markets.

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Already, several sports commentators are shooting from the hip and saying that "gay athletes shouldn't be taking showers with straight athletes." Like gay athletes haven't already done that for at least 100 years already.

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Tons of commentary about this on ESPN. I'd be curious to see what sports/pop culture writer Bill Simmons has to say about it. I got to work with him for several days on a live show during March Madness, and he's a very thoughtful, articulate guy.

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I know Jason Collins is all the rage, but that is just a very recent media event. There have been some huge names in NFL history but I can't think of one bigger than this man. He was a hero to many and it seems this only makes him larger than life. I wonder how well this would have been received back in the day some 30 years ago: http://www.yardbarker.com/nfl/articles/msn/vince_lombardi_willingly_accepted_gay_players_on_his_team/13546436

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The problem with your comment, Chris, is that no one in the NFL ever came out while they were still a player. All kinds of pro athletes have come out after they retired. Very few did it when they were still playing.

The first example I know of of someone who did was baseball player Glenn Burke, and he came out to his coach and teammates in the 1970s, which is a pretty incredible story:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glenn_Burke

But they kept it on the down-low, and it was not made public until years after he'd left baseball.

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I suppose at issue is that some people see their sexual activities as private business and not something they want used as a banner to wave for sexual freedom. In some ways that may come from religious beliefs within a family which enforce a good deal of guilt over something viewed as sinful. (Ask a Catholic boy who is told God is watching him jerk off and he will go to hell for it)

I can remember back in my early teen years when a boy wouldn't even admit to preforming masturbation to his best friends until it was finally discussed and sometimes group activity commenced. Then there were the guys who bragged about their sexual conquests although half the time these were lies. To me they just seemed rude since if I was going to have sex with someone it would likely be a boy and I wasn't going to talk about it.

But I would imagine that coming out to a coach took a lot of courage, and what a relief it must have been to receive support instead of condemnation. My point was that Lombardi was ahead of his time, although we don't know if there were other coaches who dealt with these things so favorably. How little do we mere mortals understand the difficulties of being a major NFL coach.

Ten years from now I would like to see Collins in an interview be asked if he wants to be remembered as the first out gay guy in pro basketball or a decent player of the game. I wonder what he will say?

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