When Jason Collins come out Monday as the first openly gay man on an American professional team sport, his well-wishers included everyone from Mark Cuban to Kobe Bryant to Steve Nash.
But not everyone was so encouraging.
As could have been predicted, FoxNews and its affiliates are among the least supportive — and downright hateful. Media Matters reported that on Monday, when the Collins story was breaking news, FoxNews devoted less than 10 minutes to the story, while MSNBC spent nearly half an hour on it and CNN more than 40 minutes.
But it doesn’t end there.
FoxNews reporter Todd Starnes tweeted sarcastic, inane and condescending blasts at Collins. Among them: “Remember when professional athletes were judged on their athletic prowess — and not who they bedded?” (ummm … since when have basketball players’ private lives been out-of-bounds, especially when they date famous models, singers and actresses?); “The NBA is turning into GLEE” (ummm … if you wanna judge athletes by abilities only, why be so rude about one openly gay player?); and “Have any professional athletes announced they are heterosexual today?” (ummm … yes, Todd, on a daily basis — every time they talk about their wives and girlfriends).
Locally, it’s just as bad.
Earlier this week, I blogged about a letter ripe with ignorance in response to a DMN op/ed regarding the Boys Scouts. Somehow, I’m now on the Crazy Bigot Listserve, because after the Collins story, I got the following email from someone with the name Mague Alibaba (also referencing the DMN article):
Collins, 34, becomes the first unemployed and former NBA player in one of four major U.S. professional sports leagues to come out as a homosexual. He has played in an unbelievable 12 seasons and for six teams, including this past season with the Washington Wizards, and is now a free agent. He has been traded and dropped like a bad habit so many times, twice this last season (2 teams) he is a loser, both professional and in life.
Any bets Collins doesn’t go back to work! There is absolutely no chance that any NBA team is going to hire this fruit cake up, he is a loser and can’t compete. And because he came out for perversion or immorality am I supposed to be impressed by one idiot’s stupidity?
He sure ain’t the poster boy for leadership and manhood in profession sports or mankind for that matter. It doesn’t take courage to do something this ridiculous and absurd in spite of what our fearless community organizer and his wife says. What a disappointment this guy is and all who support the abhorrent life style.
Finally, local talk show host Chris Krok made an ass of himself during the 8 p.m. hour of his Monday show with his ignorant rant as well. I’ve never listened to Krok much before, and for good reason: He’s an angry, mean-spirited fellow who allows his own passions to make him sound crazed and bitter, even as he chastises everyone else who disagrees with him for being reactionary. (It’s called the Bill O’Reilly Syndrome.)
First he questioned when Collins could fairly be called a “professional” athlete: “He doesn’t currently work for any team right now,” he observed. “He came out because he needed a job! This is unemployment insurance.”
Now, aside from the fact that every other free agent is considered a pro, exactly what universe does Krok live in that coming out will help Collins get a slot on a team?
He also makes it sound as though he was a bad player — as if straight players can’t be bad athletes.
I had to stop listening after a while.
Once again: We got a long way to go.