When Jason Collins came out as the first active male gay athlete, opinions instantly stewed in the minds of everyone.
The decision led to support by many and controversy to some as well. One sports editor took his right of having an opinion to being completely arrogant. There is a difference and it’s too bad this writer abused his power as a writer.
Brian Nielsen of the Journal Gazette & Times-Courier, wrote the piece titled “Jason Collins – human, yes; a hero, no.” Nielsen comes out swinging at the beginning of his article saying that Collins should look at the Bible where instead of praise, he should be asking for mercy and forgiveness.
Religious views play a big role into sexual orientation opinion, but what Nielsen goes on to say is quite appalling.
Nielsen compares Collins to Shawn Kemp and Tiger Woods by writing the following:
“Still we have people calling Collins a pioneer. I never heard that, and rightfully so, when NBA player Shawn Kemp had fathered several illegitimate children with different women. More recently, Tiger Woods’ career tumbled and he lost a large amount of sponsorship dollars once his immoral lifestyle came to light. At least Woods, sincere or not, made a public apology for his faults and expressed the desire to change.”
To compare Collins to Kemp or Woods is outrageous. How is coming out as a gay man the same as fathering illegitimate children or cheating on your wife? What is more troubling is Nielsen’s thought that Collins needs to apologize for his “faults” and express the desire to change.
This is how Collins was born. He tried to change time and time again, and he is now finally being his true self.
Nielsen also believes that Collins did not display courage at all for coming out. Instead he writes he believes Collins is going against “the rules”:
“Somehow, many have decided they know the rules better than God.”
So, Nielsen has decided there are rules to who you can love, and apparently Collins broke those rules. Again, Nielsen sounds like an arrogant, close-minded writer who has abused his power.
Collins is the last person that needs to change in this situation. It is a blessing that he has stopped trying to change and has finally been able to show his true personality.
What needs to change is Nielsen’s boss having the idea that Nielsen is a qualified writer whose arrogance deserves to be displayed.