It's not our business who Jason Collins has sex with
Armstrong Williams | 5/31/2013, 12:38 p.m.
Collins is Black. What imagery does that bring to mind? Does that change your thinking about his being an NBA center? If you did not see a picture of him, would you have assumed he is Black because he plays professional basketball?
Now add that he is gay.
I think it is safe to say everyone assumes there are plenty of gay professional athletes. We know being gay does not take away from his abilities as an athlete, nor add anything. For those who only care if Collins plays well, hits his shots and sets his picks, this is the "who cares?" moment. To most of these people, Collins' personal life means as much to them as Tom Brady's, in that it does not. Just because the media makes Brady's life into a celebrity feeding frenzy at times does not mean that most hardcore sports fans care.
However, the casual fan does. And I think it is the casual fan that this actually speaks to more, and I think we need to be aware of that and acknowledge the importance of Collins' decision to the general public and the gay community.
Collins went from being a player with a few fans to hundreds of thousands in a flash. His Twitter subscribers alone jumped from 4,000 to over 100,000 in a day. Most of his new fans only like him because of this announcement. To me, that is as absurd as liking a person only based on the color of their skin. But be that as it may, Collins is now the spokesman for gay athletes in America--past, present and future.
Not only that, he will be exploited. Several weeks ago, Mark Cuban said he would gladly sign the first openly gay player. So is Collins going to be signed because his skills or because he is now an icon? That and everything else will be questioned: playing time, performance, reactions from other players when he delivers a hard foul, etc. And now that he has made his private life public, it will be exploited for gossip: Who is he dating, is he marching in this parade, is he properly representing the gay community? Hopefully, Collins has the fortitude to stand up under this intense scrutiny.
Regardless, I still do not care who Collins has sex with ... and neither should you.
Armstrong Williams is the author of the brand-new book "Reawakening Virtues." More content can be found on RightSideWire.com. Come join the discussion live 4-5, 6-8 p.m. EST at www.livestream.com/armstrongwilliams or tune in 4-5 p.m. EST on S.C. WGCV, Sirius/XM Power 128, 6-7 p.m. and 4-5 a.m. EST. Become a fan on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.