Monday, April 29, 2013

Today in Sports: Jason Collins vs. Tim Tebow, Substance Over Fluff

Jason Collins
I never -- and I mean NEVER -- talk about sports, except when it's about how hot some of the jocks are and what assholes they were to me in high school. Today is a special exception because two major events have happened on the same day.

First, the-too-cute-to-be-straight, spontaneously genuflecting, darling of the religious right, Tim Tebow, got cut from the NY Jets after only one season. I honestly don't care about this story at all. Honestly, the only other Jet I can name is Tony, from West Side Story.

I thought I might just mention it, because I find it funny and ironic and all sorts of cosmically fitting that this story has been totally overshadowed by the Sports Illustrated cover story about NBA center Jason Collins coming out of the closet.

Collins writes in the May 6 issue of SI, "Imagine you're in the oven, baking. Some of us know and accept our sexuality right away and some need more time to cook. I should know - I baked for 33 years." 

Except for the Holocaust mental imagery, which Collins might know about if gay history was included in, well, history class, this is a powerful statement about coming out. We in the LGBT community each come out in our own time, when we feel comfortable enough in our own skin and strong enough to stop giving a shit about what others think about us.

Of course it's different in the testosterone filled, close quarters of professional sports. It's one thing to know that there may be gay men or women sharing the showers with you after the game, it's quite another to know who they are. We've long wondered how the professional sporting world would react to an out and proud male athlete. We're about to find out.

The reactions have been mostly supportive. Kobe Bryant tweeted, “Proud of @jasoncollins34. Don't suffocate who u r because of the ignorance of others #courage #support #mambaarmystandup #BYOU.”

Ellen DeGeneres is "overwhelmed by your bravery."

Meanwhile over at ESPN, the Fox "News" of sports, the reactions by those who have mastered the art of reading, have been mostly snarky and insulting. Fuck them. Stuff your fat faces with Hardee's 3000 calorie bowls of fat covered in glop until your inevitable heart attack. You won't be missed.

It's better to come out fully cooked than half-baked.

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