Friday, June 7, 2013

Jason Collins Coming Out Party is Underway

When NBA player Jason Collins announced he was gay, I predicted that Collins had correctly called the social wind shift and that he could use his orientation as an asset.
Last night, both Collins and I had our predictions validated.
Jason Collins
Collins was invited by the Boston Red Sox to throw out the first pitch at Fenway Park before last night's game against the Texas Rangers.

"This is an opportunity for us as an organization. We respect his courage, we respect his choices," said Sox manager John Farrell. "It's an opportunity to showcase that. At the time when this was a possibility of coming out, we had said we're an organization that embraces all, and I think this is a very small way of showing that."

 In other words, the team now feels it's beneficial to "showcase," its attitude toward diversity. It's true that Collins played for the Boston Celtics last season, but the Red Sox did not cite that. Instead, Collins' first pitch was another first for a gay athlete, and a sports team looking to ride the coattails sexual orientation, which suddenly finds itself cool. Too bad the Red Sox were as quick to embrace racial diversity. They were the last in the majors to field a black player. the year was 1959, TWELVE years after Jackie Robinson broke Major League Baseball's racist color line. Oakland's Pumpsie Green was their player. As for Collins, the question for him is whether America's recently found acceptance will translate into a contract in the NBA. Remember, he's not yet the first openly gay player in a major American team sport, and not just because that retired soccer player came out of retirement (too) so he could snag the honor. Collins is not now, and was not at the time of his "coming out" under contract with an NBA team.

No comments:

Post a Comment